The military just handed Chelsea Manning another cruel setback


Even after two suicide attempts–and being slapped with solitary confinement as punishment–a military psychologist has refused to recommend that Chelsea Manning be allowed to change her gender to female in in official records, according to a Monday court filing.

Manning, a transgender woman and former soldier, is currently serving out a 35-year prison sentence for leaking classified information at a men's prison in Kansas. Although the Army has agreed to allow Manning to undergo gender reassignment surgery at some point in the future, she has repeatedly been forced to cut her hair to comply with prison rules, which stipulate that all inmates' hair must be kept to shorter than two inches.


The filing from Manning's American Civil Liberties Union lawyers, which was obtained by the Associated Press, didn't say why the military psychologist refused her request, which Manning was making "based on her having achieved stability in her female gender."

Early last month, Manning's lawyers disclosed she had again attempted suicide in October after first trying to take her life in July.

In an October post on Medium, Manning wrote that she felt "devastated, humiliated, hurt, and rejected" after her request to grow out her hair was denied.

“I didn’t take the news well,” she wrote. “I felt sick. I felt sad. I felt gross — like Frankenstein’s monster wandering around the countryside avoiding angry mobs with torches and pitch forks.”


Manning has asked President Obama to commute her sentence to time served. But so far, the White House hasn't indicated any intention to do so before Obama leaves office.

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