A free evening social mixer and keynote featuring special guests Kristin Beck, former Navy SEAL and Congressional candidate, and openly transgender U.S. Army Sgt. Shane Ortega. Emceed by Jamie Monroe.
Admission is free, but registration is required. Please register for the event below.
An official Charlotte Pride Week event.
Kristin Beck, born Christopher Beck is known to be the first female Navy SEAL. She was interviewed by Anderson Cooper in June of 2013 and quickly became known throughout the world. Soon after she became a civil rights activist giving speeches nation wide. Even invited to go before Congressmen and Senators with her personal story and dynamic personality making headway in the March to Equality for all humans.
She distinguished herself in 20 years of exceptionally meritorious service with Special Operations Forces in the SEAL teams. She conducted special operations with small UAVs, HUMINT, and Direct Action missions in her thirteen deployments. Final tours were with Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) to head the Special Reconnaissance units and various Task Forces as a HUMINT source handler and technical operations director.
In 2009, Kristin was requested by name to be the Advisor to SOCOM’s Science Director, Mr. William Shepherd (SEAL/Astronaut). She became an integral part of SOF technology and advancements while serving in this capacity. She has prepared and briefed position papers on SOF- unique technology for State Department and White House approvals. As a result of these outstanding achievements, Kristin Beck received the coveted NDIA 2010 Special Operations Award.
Now a civil rights activist, she gives speeches and lectures at various events around the country. Kristin was a key voice in the Congressional Bill to end discrimination toward the LGBT community. She continues her “new mission” fighting for equality for all Americans.
She is “Lady Valor” and offers services in Consulting, full spectrum law enforcement training, motivational and informational speeches, innovation collaborations, art and other original works such as books, comic books, screenplays, painting/pottery/abstract multimedia pieces.
In February 2015, Kristin registered as a candidate in the 2016 US Congressional race. She is a democrat and will be running against Steny Hoyer for Maryland’s 5th District.
More information on the campaign can be found at www.beck4congress.us.
Shane Ortega is an American soldier U.S. Army Sergeant serving at Wheeler Airfield in Oahu, Hawaii as a helicopter crew chief in the Army’s 25th Infantry Division, and is the first openly trans soldier in the U.S. Military. He recently joined the Gay Men’s Chorus of Honolulu and plans to compete for a professional bodybuilding title in fall 2015.
Born in Patuxent River, Maryland to military parents and assigned female at birth, Ortega never considered any other career. His father served in the U.S. Navy while his mom served in the Navy and Army. Two of his uncles served in Vietnam. He also knew he wasn’t female when he was very young, “I’ve known since I was a child.” While still in Monacan High School outside Richmond he signed up for Marine boot camp and left for camp two days after graduating in 2005.
Ortega has served three combat tours, two in Iraq, one in Afghanistan, “Two as a Marine and one in the Army. Two as a woman and one as a man.” Ortega states, “My commitment to serving this country runs deep, I have been a team and squad leader, a crew chief, and a machine gun section chief.”
Ortega has been on over 400 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, “and fought side-by-side in foxholes and remote operating bases,” says Ortega. “I will continue to fight this fight for the 700,000 transgender veterans that have gone before me who were forced to choose between serving their country and being true to who they are.” He always presents as male except when compelled by the Army to wear women’s “dress blues” for official occasions, he lives as a man and holds ID and passport under his male gender. Ortega notes that in a combat zone it made little difference of his gender identity as he was expected to carry his own equipment and do his job. Military regulations deem “any proclamation of a transgender identity or gender-affirming clinical treatment to be evidence of a “psychosexual condition” or mental illness that makes one unfit to serve” according to The Advocate. Voluntarily taking a psychological exam from an Army doctor Ortega tested negative for having gender dysphoria, and was deemed fit to serve.
Jamie Monroe, a 30 year veteran in the art of female illusion, has traveled throughout the United States. She is best known for her illusions of Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Charo, Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks. She has held the prestigious titles of Miss NC America, Miss Georgia USA, and Miss NC USofA. She was featured as Marilyn Monroe and Charo in the Las Vegas production of “Boylesque” staged at the Hula Hut Showroom and Beachcomber Hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii. She has been highlighted in publications such as Creative Loafing, Drag Queen Magazine and Relish. She is one of the hostesses of Salisbury Pride, held in her hometown. She has become actively involved in the fight for equal rights for transgender people. Jamie believes in living life to its fullest, taking chances to stay relevant, and always fighting for what you believe in.