Chelsea Manning, former Army intelligence analyst convicted of stealing and disseminating 750,000 pages of documents and videos to WikiLeaks, will be undergoing gender transition surgery.
This could make her the first prison inmate to undergo this kind of procedure.
Chelsea Manning is currently serving a 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, an all-male Army prison. She had previously requested to transfer to a civilian prison but was denied.
Her lawyers confirmed that she has long been denied medical treatment for her gender dysphoria, a condition in which a conflict exists between a person’s physical sex and the gender that they identify with.
The refusal to treat the condition Chelsea Manning, a transgender woman, suffers from led to a suicide attempt in July. Manning subsequently began a hunger strike on September 9 to demand treatment as well as access to medical prescriptions that were recommended for her condition.
The hunger strike ended on Tuesday when Manning received the news that the military will provide treatment for her gender dysphoria, starting with surgery that was recommended by her psychologist.
The Army did not immediately respond for a request to comment on Chelsea Manning or her upcoming transitional surgery, sources say.
Manning told her lawyers that she expects “to meet with a team of doctors in the next week or two to move the process forward to prepare for surgery,” ACLU attorney Chase Strangio said in an email.
Chelsea Manning began to publicly identify as a woman in August 2013, a day after her sentencing. Her struggle to properly express her gender has been a long and arduous one, as she filed a lawsuit in 2014 against the Department of Defense so she could grow out her hair, use cosmetics and ultimately receive hormone treatment.
“This is all that I wanted — for them to let me be me,” Manning said in a statement through the ACLU.
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