Navy SEAL Chris Beck comes out as transgender after 20 years of service

While Chris Beck fought on some of the world's deadliest battlefields for decades, he was holding in a secret: He identified himself as a woman.

As a member of the elite U.S. Navy SEALs for 20 years, Chris -- now Kristin Beck -- realized she wasn't living the life she wanted.

"Chris really wanted to be a girl and felt that she was a girl and consolidated that identity very early on in childhood," Anne Speckhard, co-author of Beck's biography " Warrior Princess ," told ABC News.

According to the ABC News report, Beck suppressed that secret for decades, growing a burly beard as she fought on the front lines of American special operations.

But while he was serving as a SEAL he couldn't be the woman he knew he was, the report says.

"For years Chris had turned off his sexuality like a light switch and lived as a warrior, consumed with the battle -- living basically asexual," the book says. "For Chris the other SEALs were brothers and in the man's man warrior lifestyle, even if he had wanted to entertain sexual thoughts, there really was never any time to be thinking too much about sexuality."

Beck came out publicly as transgender in her biography, which hit stores June 1.

Beck is currently on hormone therapy in preparation for sexual reassignment surgery and generally wears long hair, make-up and women's clothes, Speckhard told ABC News.

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