Chelsea Manning Always Intended to Transition, Will Continue to Pursue Hormone Therapy
When Chelsea Manning announced her decision to live the rest of her life as a woman, some people were skeptical of her timing.
Manning, formerly Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, announced her transition shortly after she was sentenced to 35 years in prison for her crimes, which included leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to Julian Assange. The news came after her defense put several people, including a psychiatrist, on the stand to testify that Manning suffers gender identity issues.
On Tuesday, Manning's lawyer, David Coombs, decided to clear a few things up. According to Coombs, Manning had always planned to live her life as a woman. She moved up the date of her announcement after the military prison where she will likely be held said publicly that it did not provide hormone therapy.
"It was Chelsea's intent to do this all along," Coombs said. Coombs has previously said that he hopes the prison will "do the right thing" had provide Manning with hormone therapy. He acknowledged push back he's seen on the internet as people object to their tax dollars being used for the treatment. If the military will not provide hormone therapy, Manning is willing to pay for it herself. Coombs said,"It's just to be comfortable in her own skin."
According to her lawyer, Manning does not plan on having sex-reassignment surgery and though some are nervous about her placement at an all male facility, Manning has no plans to object to her prison assignment.
Manning has also apparently acknowledged that confusion could arise from the name change. "There's a realization that most people know her as Bradley," Coombs said. "Chelsea is a realist and understands."
Manning will seek a legal name change to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning and the Bradley Manning Support Network will be changed to the Private Manning Support Network.