Manning to receive gender transition surgery
U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning, serving a 35-year prison term for passing
classified files to WikiLeaks, ended her hunger strike on Tuesday after
the Army said she would be allowed to receive gender transition surgery,
the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said.
The 28-year-old Army private, who was born male but revealed after
being convicted of espionage that she identifies as a woman, announced
the hunger strike on Friday.
Manning's treatment will begin with the surgery that was recommended
by her psychologist in April, the ACLU, which represented Manning, said
in a statement. Manning is held in Kansas.
No transgender inmate has ever before received gender affirming
surgical treatment in prison, the ACLU said.
"I am unendingly relieved that the military is finally doing the right thing. I
applaud them for that. This is all that I wanted — for them to let me be
me," Manning said in a statement, though she went on to criticize the
government for taking "so long."
A spokesman for the defense department said it would not comment on
the matter in order to protect patient confidentiality.
Manning in July tried to commit suicide over what her representatives
said was the government's denial of appropriate treatment for her gender
dysphoria, a condition in which a person feels their physical gender is
the opposite of the one he or she identifies with.
The Army announced later that month that it would investigate Manning
for misconduct in connection with the attempt to take her own life, a
probe that could lead to indefinite solitary confinement, reclassification
into maximum security or additional prison time.
According to Manning's representatives, doctors have recommended that
as part of her treatment for gender dysphoria the soldier, who began
hormone therapy in 2015, be allowed to follow "female hair grooming
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