After Wednesday’s sentencing in the court martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the whistleblower released a statement in which she said she would henceforth be known as Chelsea Manning, and that she will begin transitioning while in prison.
Unfortunately, the military is notoriously ignorant of the needs of LGBT soldiers, let alone detainees, and it is highly unlikely that Manning will receive the attention she needs without our help. A spokeswoman for the Ft. Leavenworth brig at which Manning will be confined told Courthouse News:
“The Army does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery for gender identity disorder.”
Firedoglake is calling for her Brig Commander at Ft. Leavenworth to either provide the medical treatment and therapy she needs and deserves, or transfer her to a federal facility where she will have access.
Sign our petition demanding the Brig Commander at Ft. Leavenworth provide Chelsea Manning with the necessary treatment to complete her transition — or transfer her to a federal facility where such treatment is available.
Before Manning was arrested in 2010, she told hacker and government informant Adrian Lamo that “I wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me… plastered all over the world press… as boy…”
Manning had no access to therapy while serving in the military, and her calls for help to superiors were repeatedly ignored as she continued to struggle with gender dysphoria after deployment.
For legal and personal reasons, Manning’s representation said she would be known as Bradley throughout the trial, until she could reach the ‘next phase of her life.’ That next phase has arrived.
But unlike federal facilities, military brigs do not traditionally help inmates like Manning find their way. Manning’s gender dysphoria was a source of stress and sadness for Manning, and she has undoubtedly endured too much hardship as is. We must fight to get Chelsea the help she needs immediately and end her suffering in the brig.