In what is the first time anyone has ever said “transgender Navy SEAL is running for Congress,” transgender former SEAL Kirstin Beck has decided to run for Congress. Beck will be attempting to unseat longtime Democrat leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) from Congress. Hoyer is the #2 ranked Democrat in Congress and serves as the House minority Whip under Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
The first SEAL to come out as transgendered may also become the first transgendered member of Congress.
Former U.S. Navy SEAL Kirstin Beck, who transitioned from male to female in 2013, has announced that she’s running in the Maryland primaries to unseat U.S. Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer, the longest-serving Maryland representative and House Minority Whip.
According to The Hill, Beck filed the appropriate paperwork Monday, which now shows up on the Board of Elections website for Maryland. Beck was part of SEAL Team 6, the Navy’s elite counter-terrorism unit, and retired in 2011 after a 20-year career. Now, Beck says she’s ready to serve her country elsewhere by starting out in the Democratic primary for the House.
“For the last two or three years I have been watching Congress very closely, and the reality is that the whole process has broken down and our representatives have simply dug in their heels,” Beck told The Huffington Post. And while Beck is a fan of House Minority Whip Rep. Hoyer, she’s stated publicly that it’s time for future generations to step up and take the baton.
Last year, Beck was set to run for the House in Florida, but ended up changing her mind. She moved to Maryland instead, where her mother is located. For now, Beck’s campaign website is still incomplete, and her campaign is run by volunteers, as she hasn’t yet filed the paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, meaning she can’t yet raise any funds, reports The Baltimore Sun.
Since coming out in 2013, Beck has faced significant pressure to undergo surgery in order to complete the transition from male to female, but in a question and answer period at Marshall University on February 10, Beck stated that transition surgery is “bullshit.”
“I’m anti-surgery,” Beck continued. “You don’t need surgeries or the makeup or the dresses … it comes down to who you are as a spirit.”