Jack Bee Garland was a transgender author, nurse and adventurer. Garland was also known as Elvira Virginia Mugarrieta, Babe Bean, Jack Beam, Jack Maines and Beebe Beam. Born in San Francisco, California to a father who was a military officer serving as Mexican consul to San Francisco, in 1897, he took residence in Stockton, California. Using the male name Babe Bean and pretending to be mute, he got a job with The Stockton Evening Mail writing stories that focused on social problems such as gambling and vagrancy. On October 5, 1899, he adopted the male identity of Beebe Beam and accompanied United States Army forces to the Philippines to participate in the Philippine War for a year, writing, “I saw war and I lived it.” Beam was a cabin boy on the troop transport City of Para to pay his way to the Philippines. Beam became sick on the journey and was set ashore after the captain found out about Beam’s history. The enlisted soldiers took up a collection to buy his ticket. When the captain would not allow Beam back on the ship, the soldiers gave Beam a uniform and hid him until they were safely away from Hawaii. Beam was discovered again and confined, but, dressed as a soldier, Beam escaped and followed the regiments to their Philippine garrisons. Beam served as a Spanish language interpreter and nurse, living in military camps with the Sixteenth, Twenty-Ninth, Forty-Second, and Forty-Fifth United States Volunteer Infantry regiments. During that time in the Philippines, Beam did not participate in combat, but witnessed the Battle of San Mateo and joined several marches throughout Luzon.
Beam accompanied United States military forces to Santa Cruz, Laguna de Bey, Camarines, and Caloccan, as well as Manila and smaller garrisons. He spent almost a year in the Philippines before returning to the United States. On October 21, 1900, Beam published “My Life as a Soldier,” in the San Francisco Examiner Magazine. Although Beam never enlisted and did not participate in combat, Beam marketed the story as a woman soldier in the Philippines. Shortly after publishing the Philippine adventure, Beam abandoned newspaper writing and assumed the identity Jack Bee Garland, living as a man for the remainder of his life. As Jack Garland, he devoted himself to social work with the American Red Cross and other charitable organizations. Garland died of peritonitis in San Francisco on September 19, 1936. The hospital discovered Garland had been living as male, provoking a series of newspaper articles. Garland had a tattoo that showed an American flag under the word Manila alongside an infantry insignia. Newspapers suggested that Garland should be buried with military honors as a veteran, and Garland’s sister, Victoria Shadbourne, perpetuated the idea by suggesting that Beebe Beam had been a lieutenant in the United States Army. No record of that service existed, and Garland was denied a military burial. Transman Lou Sullivan has written a detailed biography of Garland.