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Trans Politician Kristin Beck on Caitlyn Jenner, the Pentagon, Chelsea Manning & Running for Congress

Trans Politician Kristin Beck on Caitlyn Jenner, the Pentagon, Chelsea Manning & Running for Congress

Kristin Beck

The retired Navy SEAL and transgender advocate spoke to Katie Couric about recent advancements for trans people

Photo: Yahoo News

Last week, Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric interviewed Kristin Beck, a former Navy SEAL and transgender woman (and advocate) about the Pentagon's recent announcement that the military is officially reviewing its ban on transgender people serving in the military. Beck served in the Navy SEALs for 20 years, receiving a Bronze Star and Purple Heart along the way. She retired in 2011 and came out as a transgender woman in 2013.

In this exclusive interview with Couric, she talks about Caitlyn Jenner becoming the recipient of ESPN's 2015 Arthur Ashe Courage Award and a representative for the community: "It reaches so many more people than any one of us could ever reach," Beck explains. "I mean, Caitlyn Jenner is -- has star power. That's pretty much the bottom line. And has been a hero for millions of people since the '70s when Caitlyn won the gold medal in decathlon." Here, a few more of the standout comments from the trans women running for the Democratic nomination in Maryland's Fifth Congressional District against the longtime incumbent Democratic whip, Steny Hoyer.

On Jenner's Vanity Fair Cover:

"We've been fighting the stereotypes as transgender people for thousands of years. So it's always been put in the closet as a fetish or having to do with sex or sexual orientation. There's so much confusion already in the community that, that cover -- it just wasn't really the image that I would've loved to have seen her in, would be that of, you know, dignity and respect and -- there could've been so many other ways to do it. But it brought a lot of attention. If you have to sell magazine covers and magazines, then that's a good way to do it, is by controversy. But I think that the transgender community, we already have so much controversy and misunderstanding, it's just a shame that we have to heap more upon it."

On Chelsea Manning's hormones and leaking documents:

"Well, first I would like to say that Chelsea Manning, I 100% support her getting hormone therapy and surgeries and anything else that can happen. And it's up to the federal prison to take care of that person to the utmost, to ensure she is being treated with dignity and respect, just like everyone else is expected to. So hormone therapy and surgery and anything else that I could do to help out Chelsea Manning, I would do that. The thing is, is about the leaking of the documents. Whistle-blowing is one thing, that would be seven or 70 documents. 700,000 documents is where I have a problem with Chelsea Manning. But that only goes back to when she was a private in the army. You sign an oath. You sign paperwork, you sign a dedication on the bottom line, and you didn't uphold that. If it was seven documents and a couple videos, nothin' woulda happened. And she woulda been a hero even back in her days as a private."

On running for Congress against Steny:

"So I grew up in the '60s and '70s in a very poor working-class family. And then I was in the military for 20 years. So you can see that I'm 100% working class. And I think that's what the American people have to start really looking at, is the working class, and taking care of each other and getting back on our feet. And that's the only way to do it. Steny has been in office now for over 30 years and he's done a good job, and I appreciate some of the work he's done. But it's time to go fishin', Steny. And it's time for some, well, I don't mean to joke about that, but the thing is, it's a new generation. And there's things I'm not really totally sure he's in touch with. And hey, if this doesn't work out, hey, I'd be on his staff and try to help out. 'Cause we need people with the new staffs and we need to have people in Congress that represent the people. And I can do that. I have -- a lot of pledges that I tell to people I'm gonna do. And one of those is always be accessible and be there for the people. I'm not gonna have any donations or those giant, you know, strings attached to corporations or any other things. I am me, I'm grassroots, I'll be there for you. And that's what it's all about."

Watch the interview below:

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