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Bradley Manning’s Struggle With Gender Identity

August 14, 2013

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More information made the news today concerning Bradley Manning’s private struggle with his gender identity.  Not for the first time do we come to know of the lax treatment the military employs when it comes to mental health and a whole raft of emotional needs that members of the military require.  This individual story is told only because of the greater classified information leak that made for international headlines.  But at the end of the day the military is not prepared to meet the psychological needs for those that sign up for service.    It should be noted that Manning’s lawyers contend he showed clear signs of deteriorating mental health that should have prevented commanders from sending him to a war zone to handle classified information.  The amoral military command structure made no effort not to send Manning to the most awful place he could have landed.  I also feel strongly that had Manning not had such a bone-head for a father he would have never landed in the military in the first place.

Pfc. Bradley Manning’s private struggle with his gender identity in a hostile workplace put incredible pressure on the soldier who leaked classified information to WikiLeaks, an Army psychologist said Wednesday.

Manning eventually came out to Capt. Michael Worsley and emailed the therapist a photo of himself dressed as a woman, wearing a blonde wig and lipstick. The photo was attached to a letter titled “My problem,” in which Manning describes his problems with gender identity and his hope that a military career would “get rid of it.”

Worsley testified at Manning’s sentencing hearing at Fort Meade, near Baltimore. He said the soldier had little to no support base.

You put him in that kind of hyper-masculine environment, if you will, with little support and few coping skills, the pressure would have been difficult to say the least,” Worsley said. “It would have been incredible.”

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