Transgender Identity and the Military

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chelsea Manning (born Bradley Manning), the U.S. Army Private who was convicted of leaking classified government documents, said in a statement yesterday that she wants to live the rest of her life as a female and hopes to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. Michael Silverman, Executive Director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, joins us to talk about the challenges Manning will face as a transgender military inmate and how Manning's gender identity factored into her legal defense. 


Michael Silverman

Comments [18]

Chris from NJ

Wow. I would have expected better from a NPR comments thread. The ignorance is astounding. Maybe try reading up a little on such a complex subject as gender and sexuality before spouting off such blindly uninformed dribble.

Aug. 25 2013 02:59 PM

inquisical, i think you may onto something. the whole thing reeks of exhibitionism.

Aug. 23 2013 12:31 PM
John A

Is it narcisism, Inquisigal? My belief as well. Not that we are allow to resist in the current climate.

Aug. 23 2013 12:04 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Put Chelsea Manning in the same room as Mental Health practitioner Nidal Hasan.

Aug. 23 2013 12:01 PM
Sean from PA

I will not be referring to him as a female for the simple fact that the United States does not consider him to be one. Is he in a male prison? What does his drivers license say?

This whole discussion is laughable. Tax dollars should not be spent to make prisoners "feel better". And this whole issue should be a personal one. He wants to make his ideas materialize, fine. Do it once you have paid your debt to society.

Aug. 23 2013 11:59 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

He's a MALE, baby! Doesn't matter what sort of personal crisis HE is having. Sounds like HE is attempting to change identity so the person who committed the crime no longer exists, and the new "woman" is innocent. Such a non-issue.

Aug. 23 2013 11:54 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

I would be curious to hear a psychologist's opinion of this revelation. My eyebrow's are not raised when anyone comes out as transgendered, but the fact that Manning has now made a second, very public, admission that has caused a whirlwind and extreme focus around him makes me wonder what this says about his psyche in general. Did the leak and the impending jail sentence cause some sort of freeing inside him/her that has enabled him to finally state he is a she? Or is both the leak and the public declaration of her true identity a sign of a person who has a diagnosable condition that caused her/him to carelessly blurt out information in a widespread, public way that lead/will lead to grave consequences for her/his personal well being?

Aug. 23 2013 11:51 AM
The Truth from Becky


Aug. 23 2013 11:47 AM
korgy from brooklyn

Chelsea Manning did not expose military information -- Bradly manning did. it may be fine to refer to Manning as Chelsea for actions he/she is involved in going forward, but to apply "Chelsea" when speaking of Manning's illeqal acts for which he has been charged iscounter-productive, and we are letting the suspect control our language.

Aug. 23 2013 11:47 AM
The Truth from Becky

Stop calling him a woman, it's weird! HE is a man having a gender identity crisis.

Aug. 23 2013 11:45 AM
john from office

The PC police will be out in force, be sure to call him, her and use her new name.

I am now Joanne, and insist on it!

Manning is more of a freak then even I thought. He has done more harm to Gays in the military then the most vicious homophobe!

Aug. 23 2013 11:44 AM
John A

My definition of cultural insanity would be that (future) time when a person born male would insist both on a sex change operation And to live his/her life as a Lesbian.

Aug. 23 2013 11:43 AM
Miscellaneous from NYC

Gender Dysmorphic Disorder? I've read the DSM IV and I still think that Gender Dysmorphic Disorder is a load of fetid dingos kidneys. If Mr. Bradley Manning thinks he feels like a woman, maybe he should be getting testosterone shots rather than female hormones.

Anyway, Mr. Bradley Manning is in prison now and he has no right to undergo transgender treatment on the taxpayers' dime. After he leaves prison, and once he is employed, he can then pay for his whims himself. Meanwhile, as long as he has one X chromosome and one Y chromosome, he needs to - you'll pardon the expression - man up.

Aug. 23 2013 11:43 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

No one should be cruel to these people but c'mon, if you have a Y chromosome and testes + penis you are a male human being. What does gender have to do with it? I thought gender was mostly a social construct? How is this not a neurotic mental illness?

Aug. 23 2013 11:40 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I thought he was a woman the first time I saw a picture of him, so what else is new? But how can his gender confusion be used as an excuse for espionage and possible treason?

Aug. 23 2013 11:37 AM
genejoke from Brooklyn

WOW. This guy has got some serious balls (for now, at least).

Aug. 23 2013 11:37 AM

A transgender woman was beaten to death in Harlem this weekend:

Aug. 23 2013 11:37 AM
genejoke from Brooklyn

You have got to be kidding me. What does Manning's personal life have to do with his conviction?

Aug. 23 2013 11:35 AM

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