9:26 AM EDT, June 7, 2013
They are the toughest of the toughSEAL Team Sixthe warriors who took out Osama bin Laden.
For 20 years, Chris Beck was a senior chief with the elite unit. He had scruffy beard and took part in countless life or death secret missions.
But look at Chris Beck today. Chris is now Kristin—dressing and living as a woman.
She says she's been living a lie her whole life. Under all that camouflage and brawny exterior was a woman at heart.
Kristin spoke out for the first time on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, wearing high heels and a mini-dress.
"No-one ever knew the real you?" asked Cooper.
"No one ever met the real me. No one knew anything," said Kristin.
She has just published a book, Warrior Princess. In it she talks about growing up a boy, wishing she was a girl. But her dad was a man's man and expected her to serve in the military. So she chose the toughest branch of all, the Navy SEALs.
"If I could be at that top level, maybe this would go away. Maybe I could cure myself," said Kristin.
For 20 years, Chris Beck led a double life. He got married and divorced twice and had two boys. In between foreign deployments he made covert missions of his own, to Victoria's Secret to buy lacy lingerie.
Dr. Anne Speckhard is the co-author of Warrior Princess and told INSIDE EDITION, "Late at night he would put on a dress female clothers and sit and watch TV and his wife was horrified. She asked him, 'Please don't ever do this in front of our kids.' "
"Did any of the other SEALs know?" asked McInerney.
"If Kris had come out as transgender during her time in the SEALS, she would have been put out of the military," said Speckhard.
Kristin's shocking revelations are getting a mixed response from her Navy SEAL buddies.
Stuart Smith is a former Navy SEAL told INSIDE EDITION, "I'm not saying it's right or wrong. I just don't understand the whole process of it. At the same time, he has a 20 year SEAL career and I have to support him for that."
Kristin says she decided to go public to encourage others to be who they are. She retired from the seals in 2011 with a Purple Heart and a Medal of Valor. She's had laser hair removal to get rid of her beard and is planning to have sex change surgery.
Kristin said, "I fought for 20 years I fought for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I want some happiness."