Thursday, August 22, 2013

Short and Sweet

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.


marie duval said...

By getting pissed at Chelsea's disclosure (which has been lurking in the background throughout her trial,anyway) we are playing into the haters' hands, it seems to me. Do (presumably straight) men get defensive, on the same basis, because of (presumably straight) Snowden or Assange? Some people commit crimes. Whether they are gay, straight, FTM, MTF, etc., doesn't make them more or less apt to do right. My view of gender variance is that it's just how *humanity* is, and my little square is one part of that patchwork.

I think prisoners should be allowed to get hormones and surgery if they otherwise qualify. Manning's case may actually serve to advance awareness on that front.

I don't commit crimes. I am T-something. I am not going to be embarrassed by Chelsea Manning pursuing her medical needs.

Elizabeth said...

I agree with the blog post but the key for Manning is he is going to a "military prison" which is not governed by civilian laws but by the Military Uniform Code of Justice and he will get either hormones or SRS because the military penal system does not provide that because Manning is technically still in the Army. His lawyers can file lawsuits from now until the cows come home but he isn't getting hormones or SRS on the Army dime. If he wants to transition he can volunteer to be somebodies bitch and get some life experience as a woman.(sarcasm intended)

He violated the one code you do not violate in a combat theater. You do not give the enemy or its allies any information that might endanger your fellow soldiers. He did that and more. There is no deceit worse than that

Manning identified as a gay male first and now he is supposedly transgender and that is why he did this? I guess he is grabbing at victim straws trying to find one that fits him.

I have no sympathy for him at all and he does not deserve the female pronoun until he actually transitions.

paintsnfun said...

I agree with you Donna. My first thought was, "Oh s..t, this is the LAST thing we need. We're getting screwed again by this person and by the press.

Anonymous said...


Mae West said...

I completely agree with you! Private Manning is a traitor! I find Manning's timing on announcing being transgender to be very suspicious.

Anonymous said...

My gut reaction was the same as Donna's. At the same time, should there be a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, then a human rights issue would exist. We shouldn't decry mistreatment at Gitmo and condone it at Leavenworth.

Robin Morgan said...

Good for you, Donna. I agree. A few weeks ago I wrote that if Manning gets srs paid by the government, I want it too. Maybe I should commit a federal crime to get my srs!