While this is surprising to so many people, it isn’t surprising to some of us who have known that Manning was diagnosed as having gender dysphoria quite some time ago, and it is at that point that we get to say that the military royally effed up here.
Manning is eligible for parole in seven years.
Today, Manning announced via the Today Show that “As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning, I am a female. Given the way that I feel and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I also request that starting today you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun.”
It is doubtful that the military will allow Manning to transition in jail, but in seven years, they should just not oppose the parole request.
The military screwed up royally. Manning’s diagnosis of gender dysphoria should have been an automatic medical discharge. Manning coming out as being attracted to men should have been an automatic dismissal under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The fact that Manning attacked fellow soldiers and had a disabled gun should have meant dismissal as well.
Everyone screams about how Manning is some kind of hero for ‘leaking’ information which, if you paid attention, you knew about- just like Chelsea’s existence. Oh, certainly the name was not known, but the existence could be inferred from the diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
Everyone has glossed over the fact that Manning was a real snafu for the military.
So it should come down to this- Manning should be accorded all the therapy necessary to survive the next seven years in prison, and in seven years, the military should just not oppose parole.
And as for Manning- seven years may seem like an eternity, but quite honestly, it is survivable. It is possible to survive. I should know. I went through it.
The military screwed up by allowing Manning to remain in the military, and they should fix the mess they made.
The military should allow Manning to transition, but they won’t. And, quite honestly, if they don’t protect her backside in jail, there will likely be some high holy hell to pay in the long run.