For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Emma Cape, 618-841-4363

Judge Approves Chelsea Manning’s Legal Name Change Petition

WASHINGTON - At a hearing this morning at 10am Eastern Time, Leavenworth County District Judge David King granted a petition to allow WikiLeaks whistleblower PVT Manning to legally change her name from “Bradley Edward Manning” to “Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.” Manning, who has twice been diagnosed with gender dysphoria by qualified military psychiatrists, issued a public response:

“It’s worth noting that in both mail and in-person, I’ve often been asked, ‘Why are you changing your name?’ The answer couldn’t be simpler: because it’s a far better, richer, and more honest reflection of who I am and always have been –a woman named Chelsea.”

Manning continued:

“Hopefully today’s name change, while so meaningful to me personally, can also raise awareness of the fact that we trans* people exist everywhere in America today, and that we must jump through hurdles every day just for being who we are.” Manning has explained that she prefers “trans*” (with an asterisk) to denote not only transgender men and women, but also those who identify outside of a gender binary.

You can read Manning’s statement in full here:

Lauren McNamara, a trans-rights advocate who Manning befriended prior to arrest, and who testified at Manning’s trial last summer, issued her congratulations:

“I'm very happy that Chelsea has been able to take this important step. Being recognized by the chosen name that reflects who you are is a matter of basic dignity for all transgender people, and this right must be respected.”

McNamara has also been chosen to represent Manning at the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration (SF Pride) this year, and is available this week for interviews.

Manning is also requesting comprehensive treatment for her diagnosed gender dysphoria while at the Ft. Leavenworth disciplinary barracks. She was informed in August of 2013 that the military had created a plan for her treatment. However, she’s yet to see the plan, or to be notified of whether it meets with recognized standards of care for trans health.

Currently, the U.S. military does not allow transgender individuals to serve openly. However, Manning will not be discharged from the military until after she has finished serving her sentence at Ft. Leavenworth. According to a March 13, 2014 report released by the San Francisco State University’s Department of Political Science, transgender adults are more than twice as likely as non-transgender adults to serve in the U.S. military.1

Earlier this month, the Committee that organizes the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration, which attracts 1.8 million people each year, announced that Manning would be representing the 2014 celebration as an Honorary Grand Marshal.

The Chelsea Manning Support Network is currently engaged in supporting Manning’s request for medically appropriate treatment for gender dysphoria, in addition to preparing for her legal appeals. Manning’s appeals are expected to touch on issues of freedom of information, overclassification, and unlawful pretrial punishment. The Support Network anticipates future challenges in the U.S. Army Court of Appeals, federal court, and potentially even the Supreme Court.


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