In a long fought battle, imprisoned 26-year-old former military intelligence analyst turned Whistleblower, Chelsea Manning*, has been granted her request for hormone therapy by Col. Erica Nelson, commandant of the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Last September, Manning, who suffers from gender dysphoria, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The lawsuit was filed against Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks for their failure to provide appropriate medical treatment for her condition and claimed Manning was suicidal and at risk for self-castration if she did not receive treatment.
In the filing Manning said,
“It has now been more than four years since I was first diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a condition that I have struggled with my entire life…I do not believe I will be able to survive another year or two – let alone twenty to thirty years – without treatment.”
Those are heavy words, but the feeling behind them is not uncommon to those who suffer the discrimination, disbelief and disgust that having gender dysphoria elicits from many uneducated or close minded people.
In a statement, Chase Strangio, an attorney with the ACLU, said of the delays in Manning s treatment,
” … the delay in treatment came with a significant cost to Chelsea and her mental health and we are hopeful that the government continues to meet Chelsea’s medical needs as is its obligation under the Constitution so that those harms may be mitigated.”
A nationwide survey of hate-motivated violence from 1985 to 1998 found that incidents targeting transgender people accounted for 20% of all murders and about 40% of all police-initiated violence and only about 44% of the transgender population in the United States has any protection through transgender laws. There have been several murders of transgender people already this year.
Up to 5% of the world’s population is transgender. That is no small number when you start counting. Even if someone who is transgender survives the harsh statistics of hate-crimes and violence; 44% or more may not survive themselves. Suicide rates/attempts among those with gender dysphoria are nine times the national average.
*Chelsea Manning was formerly known as Pfc Bradley Manning
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