By Alan Pergament
CNN is set to announce Friday that it will air a two-hour documentary film next month about a former member of Navy Seal Team 6 from Wellsville.
The film, "Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story," will air at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Sept 4. It is about a man, Christopher Beck, who served in the military for 20 years and later became a transgender individual known as Kristin Beck.
Beck appeared on "Anderson Cooper 360" in 2013, which led to the making of the film.
The CNN Films documentary has been screened at several film festivals, including ones in Toronto and Austin, Texas, but this will be the first time it will air on television.
CNN sent an email identifying Beck as originally being from Wellsville. A publicist said Wellsville is mentioned in the film. CNN added that Beck was a member of the special counterterrorism unit "Seal Team 6," but was not in the group that killed Osama bin Laden.
A short trailer for the film available on You Tube describes Beck as a 20-year member of the service who retired in 2011. Here is a description of the film provided by CNN.
"Former U.S. Navy SEAL Christopher Beck embarks on a new mission as Kristin Beck. Her search for the American ideals that she protected as an American hero take on new meaning as she lives her life
truthfully as a transgender woman. For more than 20 years, Beck served as a member of the Navy's elite Special Forces on SEAL Team 1 as well as for the United States Special Warfare Development Group -- which many in the public refer to as SEAL Team Six.
"Beck retired in 2011 with the rank of Senior Chief and continued high-level clearance work for the federal government while concealing her transgender identity throughout and after her service, knowing she would lose it all if anyone were to know her secret.
"In 2013, approximately 18 months after her retirement from active service, Beck came out publicly on LinkedIn and on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360°, surprising many friends, colleagues, and family. This documentary was filmed when the truth was still fresh and emotional for those closest to Beck.
"Through exclusive interviews with Beck's family and friends about her service, this film explores their reactions to her coming out and includes exclusive footage of Beck in training and in combat during active service.
"While many around her have been supportive, some in the public have expressed more bigotry than she ever expected. After a lifetime of public service, Beck has learned that her fight for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness did not end on the battlefield."