Metro Weekly

Kristin Beck smacks down Huckabee after trans military service comments

Transgender Navy SEAL and congressional candidate defends allowing transgender soldiers to serve openly

Kristin Beck (Credit: TheLadyValor, via Facebook)

Kristin Beck (Credit: TheLadyValor, via Facebook)

Kristin Beck, the transgender Navy SEAL and a candidate for Maryland’s 5th Congressional District, got her own jab in at former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee after his comments regarding transgender military personnel in last Thursday’s GOP presidential debate.

In the debate, Huckabee was asked a question about allowing transgender members of the military to serve openly, at which point he went on a mini-rant against paying for gender confirmation surgery.

“The military is not a social experiment. The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things,” said Huckabee. “It is not to transform the culture by trying out some ideas that some people think would make us a different country and more diverse. The purpose of the military is to protect America. I’m not sure how paying for transgender surgery for soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, makes our country safer.”

Beck posted an open reply to Mike Huckabee via her Twitter account, featuring two pictures, one of her during her time in the Navy when she was previously known as Christopher, and another of her now, adorned with medals she earned while in combat. 

She tweeted: “@GovMikeHuckabee I was the best of the best #NavySEAL … I am twice the man you will ever be! #GOPDebate.”

Beck’s response to Huckabee earned praise from the Military Freedom Coalition, which is made up of LGBT advocates and organizations dedicated to defending LGBT military servicemembers and educating the general public about their issues.  Beck then linked to the Military Freedom Coalition’s response on her Facebook wall, adding the words, “Care to spar Mike?”

Beck, who has filed paperwork with the Maryland Board of Elections to run in the Democratic primary for the seat of U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D), the House’s second highest-ranking Democrat, has been an advocate for open transgender service. Huckabee, who has sought to enhance his appeal among evangelical and socially conservative voters, has previously made comments ridiculing transgender individuals, cracking jokes at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention about how he wished he had been able to claim he had gender dysphoria in order to be able to shower with girls in his high school physical education class. 

“For those who do not think we are under threat, simply recognize the fact that we are now in city after city watching ordinances say that your seven-year-old daughter, if she goes into the restroom cannot be offended and you can’t be offended if she’s greeted there by a 42-year-old man who feels more like a woman than he does a man,” Huckabee told convention-goers back in February.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at

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