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Why This Trans Vet Wants to Work With Trump

Why This Trans Vet Wants to Work With Trump

Kristin Beck

Former Navy SEAL Kristin Beck is applying for a civilian position in the Trump administration and, unlike many of us, has an optimistic take on our country's direction. 

I sent my application to President-elect Donald Trump last week. I am a combat-wounded U.S. Navy SEAL veteran. I am a Christian and a scientist. I am proud to be American. I put my life on the line for freedom and equality. My life was given to every citizen in this country. I am also transgender (a hush falls across the audience, and the war starts).

One side is saying to me, "You submitted your resume to the enemy. You're collaborating with Hitler!"

One side starts quoting Leviticus and a burning cross shows up.

One side yells, "You're going to hell! Kill it!"

The other side is saying, "Traitor! Kill it!"

Some yell at me about marriage equality, conversion therapy, Jim Crow, nondiscrimination laws, imprisonment, and more. The others are telling me about God and Jesus and American values.

I hear the same thing from both sides. I "hear" about love from both sides, but each side is only voicing and enacting hate and violence. This doesn't make sense.

I am in the middle of this tug-of-war and trying really hard to get rid of the rope. This is not a war. We are on the same side, and democracy, freedom, equality, and liberty are the prizes for every one of us.

How did our country become so divided and hateful? How did our politicians become so hardened in their beliefs that they forget they represent millions of all different stripes? How did two political parties become so rigidly opposed in so many ways? I truly believe we can work together and get beyond these divides. I swore an oath to protect my country; I did not swear an oath to protect a person or a party. Rest assured, I always vote and fight for my country, not a party or a single person.

The founding documents I continue to find comfort in are the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. It's no secret that our country has struggled with freedom since its founding. The founding fathers debated and fought about every word, and many struggled on both sides of slavery, women's rights, and the rights of every citizen. Each word and every phrase makes me want to be "on the team" and fight to continue our journey as a country. This great experiment of democracy will only survive if we continue these debates, but at the same time we still must work together to ensure our survival.

There are many people in minority communities who feel that the Trump administration will enslave, imprison, and vanquish their rights or even themselves. There are people who compare 2016 America to Nazi Germany. These are visions of gloom and doom founded on rumor and talk, not actions. I refuse to believe that our country will fall into that abyss. I refuse to become a victim.

I understand there are others in this country who want me dead and would prefer that all minorities be sent away or stripped of their rights. Some of these people may be in office at local and federal levels, but don't you trust that there are people who believe the opposite? Do you not think there are people who will fight for our rights? This constant debate for the last few hundred years is what makes us great. We are not perfect and we make mistakes, but we as a nation are always getting better. Because we can have open discourse and continue to improve and embrace diversity and freedom is exactly why I submitted my resume to work with President-elect Trump. We may not agree on all things, but I guarantee we will agree that America and freedom are worth it.

I believe that we are all created in God's image and diversity is our strength. I also believe that American values are worth fighting for; I have fought for them and will continue to do so. I encourage everyone to put down the rope and pick up the flag.

KRISTIN BECK served for 20 years in the Special Operations Forces of the U.S. Navy's SEAL teams. She's now a civil rights activist, author, and motivational speaker. Follow her on Twitter @theladyvalor.

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