Chelsea E. Manning
1300 North Warehouse Road
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027-2304
Subject: My Treatment Request–One Year Later
This time last year, I publicly asked that I be provided with a treatment plan, to bring my body more in line with my gender identity. Unfortunately, despite silence, and then lipservice, the military has not yet provided me with any such treatment.
Treatment is, as a matter of law, about medical necessity. Such as treating depression or anxiety. But, recieving treatment is very important to me, as a person. It has a little bit to do with the perception of myself–the sense of unending discomfort with the gender that has been imposed on me–but not out of vanity. However, prisons–and especially military prisons–reinforce and impose strong gendernorms–making gender the most fundamental aspect of institutional life. The U.S. Disciplinary Barracks restricts my ability to express myself based on my gender identity.
For example, in my daily life I am reminded of this when I look at the name on my badge, the first initial sewed onto my clothing, the hair and grooming standards that I ad here to, and the titles and courtesies used by the staff. Ultimately, I just want to be able to live my life as the person that I am, and to be able to feel comfortable in my own skin.
I also want to make it clear that my request is about how I am confined, not where. I have never requested for any transfer to a civilian or female facility. Prison is prison regardless of whether you are military or civilan, and regardless of what gender you are.
Overall, the support I have recieved outside has been overwhelming–from cards and letters, to public statements of support. I am especially grateful for all the people who have respected my wishes, used the correct pronouns and titles when referring to me, and given me their best wishes and warm love and support. You have given me a deep well of hope and optimism to gather energy from.
With Warm Regards,
CHELSEA E. MANNING