Chelsea Manning, A Relative, To Have Gender Reassignment Surgery In April
My second cousin, Chelsea Manning, a transgender soldier imprisoned for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, has ended her hunger strike after the U.S. Army agreed to allow her to get medical treatment for her gender dysphoria. She began the hunger strike last week to protest her treatment at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., vowing to persist until she was treated better.
I will be the first to say I am not able to know how it must feel to be in a body that does not represent who I am. I can read about it, and talk with others but at the end of the day all I can offer is empathy. That is what I offer to Chelsea.
The medical treatment will begin with the surgery that was recommended by her psychologist in April 2017. This is a most important decision as no transgender individual has received gender-affirming surgical treatment in prison despite medical recommendations for such care in prisons across the country.
As I write this post Army officials have not commented.
Manning however has released a statement which reads “I am unendingly relieved that the military is finally doing the right thing. I applaud them for that. This is all that I wanted — for them to let me be me. But it is hard not to wonder why it has taken so long. Also, why were such drastic measures needed?”
It has been a long and tortured road for Manning and so I am hoping for some peace to land her way soon.