Chelsea Manning Wins Right To Gender Dysphoria Treatment

Chelsea Manning, the whistleblower behind the leaks that exposed the Abu Ghraib scandal, scored a major legal victory today when she won the right to gender transition surgery, Buzzfeed reports and Manning confirms.

A psychologist recommended that Manning be allowed to have the surgery in April, so the battle has been raging for some months. She was awarded the rights to hormone treatments in early 2015, a landmark ruling.

ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio represented Manning, in the midst of a 35-year prison sentence, and transmitted her statements to the press.

“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 given to her lawyers.

“But it is hard not to wonder why it has taken so long. Also, why were such drastic measures needed? The surgery was recommended back in April 2016. The recommendations for my hair length were back in 2014,” her statement continued. “In any case, I hope this sets a precedent for the thousands of trans people behind me hoping they will be given the treatment they need.”

The military court determined that they would follow the Department of Defense’s instruction for “In-Service Transition,” according to Strangio. Manning was also given a plan which would assist her in her physical transition. However, she was told that her hair must remain short until the physical transition is completed.

Manning expressed her relief in a tweet, though she noted she's still being charged for her recent suicide attempt.

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