“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible,” Manning wrote in a statement to NBC’s Today show.
However, there’s a chance Chelsea’s transition might be on hold for the duration of her prison sentence. She is in the military’s only maximum-security prison at Ft. Leavenworth, an all-male prison. Said spokesman George Marcec, Manning is the first transgender prisoner there. To be moved to a public facility more equipped to deal with her particular situation, Manning would have to petition the court. If denied transfer, she might face her prison sentence separated from the other prisoners in order to protect her safety. Adding to the complications, the United States Army doesn’t provide hormone therapy treatment or sex-reassignment surgery.
Manning’s declaration is not news to the court; retired Sgt. 1st Class Paul Adkins testified during the trial, saying that he became aware of Manning’s wishes through an email sent in April 2010.
Wherever Chelsea E. Manning ends up serving her sentence, we just hope she makes a protector-friend like Red and doesn’t have to deal with creepy guards like Pornstache.