I'll keep this short and sweet tonight.
I was approached by a national news organization for my take on the Private Manning mess that unfolded today. Here is part of my response:
As a transsexual woman, as someone who protects sensitive information, and as an American I cannot condone anything Chelsea has done or, more importantly, how she has done it. Whether or not she has committed criminal acts is not up for debate. That has already been decided.
But this entire fiasco has tainted the work, and the lives, of so many trans people who struggle to live their lives with dignity and self-respect. We are a cross section of society and, as such, some of us have broken the law. However, to use this as an excuse, a defense, or a self-serving distraction to suddenly announce a gender transition is more than unwise. In my opinion, it is inexcusable.
It amazes me that we can have the governor of California sign a law respecting the identity of trans kids and this happen in the same week. One deserves respect for the example it sets and it moves recognition that gender is more than body parts forward in productive ways. The other does not - it is an embarrassment and a dishonor to all of us.
Granted, transsexuals face challenges in a number or arenas that don't get much visibility: medical care, homeless shelters, prisons. But this is not the way to move those conversations forward. It does exactly the opposite.
I have little sympathy.
I cannot, and will not, defend her. Some have said that the entire mess is sad. I don't find it sad. I find it maddening, and another example of how easily we become our own worst enemy.
Over, and out.