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Chelsea Manning Will Receive 'Rudimentary' Gender Transition Healthcare: VIDEO

Chelsea manning

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has announced that convicted Wikileaker Chelsea Manning will receive “rudimentary treatment” for her gender transition, reports Transgender Law Center (TLC).

Although it is unclear what specific treatment Manning will be allowed, TLC says:

“It is critical that all transgender people, including those who are incarcerated and detained, have access to life-saving health care. Transgender Law Center will continue to urge the Department of Defense that ‘rudimentary’ treatments include all health care treatments defined as medically-necessary by the preeminent health care organizations including the American Medical Association and American Psychiatric Association.”

According to The Washington Post, “the gender treatment provided by the military could include allowing Manning to wear some female garments and also potentially provide hormone treatments.”

In May, we reported that Hagel was considering moving Manning from her current incarceration in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to a civilian prison so that she could receive hormone therapy and other necessary transgender medical care. Hagel said in May that he is open to reviewing the military’s ban on transgender service members

Watch the Washington Post report, AFTER THE JUMP

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Pentagon Accused Of Transphobic 'Strategic Leak' Over Rumors Of Chelsea Manning's Medical Care

The AP recently reported that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel may transfer convicted Wikileaker  rivate Chelsea Manning from her current incarceration in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to a civilian prison so that she may receive hormone therapy and other necessary transgender medical care.

ManningManning came out as a trans-female after being sentenced to 35 years in a military prison for leaking classified military documents. She currently resides in a male-only U.S. Disciplinary Barracks and it’s unclear whether she would be transferred to a male or female civilian prison, if moved at all.

Manning’s lawyer David E. Coombs expressed skepticism over the validity of the AP report and its sourcing of "unnamed Pentagon officials 'who were not authorized to speak on the matter.'” Coombs even went so far as to accuse the Pentagon of a transphobia and a “strategic leak” in an attempt to frighten Manning into withdrawing her request for medical care:

It is common knowledge that the federal prison system cannot guarantee the safety and security of Chelsea in the way that the military prison system can. Accordingly, Chelsea would face the “choice” between receiving necessary medical treatment but potentially jeopardizing her personal safety, or not receiving necessary medical treatment but ensuring her personal safety.

Coombs is correct in his concern for Manning’s safety. According to Just Detention International, 59 percent of transgender adult inmates get sexually abused, nearly 15 times more often than cisgender inmates.

Even though the army has an agreement with the Bureau of Prisons that results in 15 to 20 military prisoners a year being sent to civilian prisons for different reasons, the army  sends only prisoners who have exhausted their military appeals and been discharged from the service — Manning has done neither. Denying her a baseline of transgender medical care however could be construed as “cruel and unusual punishment” and create a legal headache for the military if they ignore Manning's request for care.

Since the Department of Defense still forbids transgender citizens from openly serving in the military and therefore does not provide transgender medical treatment at all, making an exception in Manning’s case could set a precedent for the care of trans servicemembers in military custody.

Zack Ford of Think Progress — who questions the precedence-setting potential of this case — noted that Manning could still access medical care if the military revises its stance on trans-exclusion, if Manning abandons her conviction appeal or if the military grants her a transfer for medical reasons.


Seeking Hormone Therapy, Convicted Wikileaker Chelsea Manning Petitions For Name Change

Convicted Wikileaker Private Chelsea Manning has petitioned a Kansas court for a legal name change to match her female identity. The day after she was sentenced to 35 years in prison for violating the Espionage Act, Manning released a statement announcing her transgender identity.

Chelsea_manningManning is seeking the name change as part of a longer battle to secure hormone therapy during her time in incarceration. The New York Times has more:

Manning has asked to receive hormone replacement therapy and live as a woman while incarcerated... [and] will go to court, if necessary, to obtain the hormone treatment.

Civilian federal prisons are required to provide such treatment, if deemed medically necessary, for inmates diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Unlike in military prisons, the policy also allows inmates who believe they are the wrong gender to dress and live accordingly as part of their individual treatment plans.

The military has said it does not provide treatment for gender dysphoria because Pentagon policy dictates that transgender soldiers are not allowed to serve.

According to Lauren McNamara (aka Zinnia Jones) — an activist, friend and former defense witness for Chelsea Manning — civilian courts have found in almost all cases that prisons are required to provide hormone therapy and increasingly surgery as well for trans inmates. If Manning succeeds in her quest to receive hormone treatment and other trans accomodations, she could help set a precedent for future trans soldiers both in and out of prison. 


New 'TransMilitary' Clip Features Interview with Brave, Active Duty Transgender Service Member: VIDEO

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Readers may recall our earlier previews of TransMilitary, the web-funded series focusing on the unique plight of transgender service members on active duty. A new teaser clip has been released, featuring an active duty transgender service member who is risking career and safety in order to spread the word about the struggles of U.S. transgender military personnel.

Said the service member:

"It's time that somebody hears this. And if it takes one person at a time, that one person has made a world of a difference. It has the potential to change everything."

TransMilitary will premiere in Spring 2014.

Watch the clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

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'TransMilitary' Web Series Highlights the Contrast Between US and UK Policies on Trans Service Members: VIDEO

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Back in August, we previewed TransMilitary, the web-funded series focusing on the unique struggles of transgender service members on active duty. Now a second clip has been released, this one showcasing the contrast between U.S. transgender military personnel serving under the threat of discharge while their U.K. counterparts serve openly as equals within their armed forces. 

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 11.58.04 AMInterviewees include former Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN Allyson Robinson, who also serves as a consultant on the series, and U.K. transgender activist Jacqui Gavin.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP... 

This developing web series, produced by Tony award-winning producer Gregory Rae, Fiona Dawson, Tyrus Emory, and Zeke Stokes, and hosted by Dawson, aims to look at transphobia in America and plans to bring into focus the discrimination faced by some of those serving our country.

To find out more about the web series and its funding, visit the website HERE.

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New Web Series Opens a Window into the Lives of Transgender Military Service Members: VIDEO

Celotto

TransMilitary, a new web series featuring the lives of transgender service members on active duty premiered today, as mainstream news tackled, sometimes with many questions, the story of Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley) and her announcement that she planned to transition.

MilitaryThe plight of transgender service members has for many years been overshadowed by the struggle to defeat the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, but trans service members are still not allowed to serve openly.

The new web series, produced by Tony award-winning producer Gregory Rae, Fiona Dawson, Tyrus Emory, and Zeke Stokes, and hosted by Dawson, will look at transphobia in America and plans to bring into focus the discrimination faced by some of those serving our country.

Interviewed in the first episode are Bryce Celotto, a currently serving transgender soldier risking discharge with his participation, and former Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN Allyson Robinson, who also serves as a consultant on the series.

Check out the first episode, AFTER THE JUMP...

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