Military reportedly approves hormone therapy for Chelsea Manning

Move comes more than a year and a half after Army whistleblower came out as transgender

By Luke Brinker
Published February 13, 2015 3:11PM (EST)
Chelsea Manning          (AP Photo/U.S. Army, File)
Chelsea Manning (AP Photo/U.S. Army, File)

Military officials have signed off on hormone therapy for Chelsea Manning, the former Army private and whistleblower serving a 35-year sentence for sharing classified military documents with WikiLeaks.

So reports USA Today, which obtained a February 5 memo in which Col. Erica Nelson, the commandant of the Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks in Kansas, writes that "[a]fter carefully considering the recommendation that (hormone treatment) is medically appropriate and necessary, and weighing all associated safety and security risks," she has approved treatment to aid Manning in her gender transition.

Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, came out as transgender shortly after her conviction in the WikiLeaks case. She is eligible for parole in seven years.

Noting that the medical community regards hormone therapy as essential for patients with gender dysphoria, transgender advocates championed Manning's fight for the treatment. In a December op-ed for the Guardian, Manning wrote that U.S. officials were denying her fundamental rights as a transgender woman.

“A doctor, a judge or a piece of paper shouldn’t have the power to tell someone who he or she is. We should all have the absolute and inalienable right to define ourselves, in our own terms and in our own languages, and to be able to express our identity and perspectives without fear of consequences and retribution,” she wrote. “We should all be able to live as human beings — and to be recognized as such by the societies we live in.”

The Guardian announced this week that it brought Manning on board as a contributing opinion writer. She will write a regular column about gender, war, and freedom of information.

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Chelsea Manning Fort Leavenworth Hormone Therapy Transgender Transgender Rights Usa Today Wikileaks