Solidarity with Chelsea Manning. Please take today to make the choice to educate yourself and others about Trans people instead of being an asshole.
On Thursday, Bradley Manning made the announcement in a TODAY exclusive that he would like to live out the rest of his life as a woman. Below is Manning’s full statement to the public:
Subject: The Next Stage of My Life
I want to thank everybody who has supported me over the last three years. Throughout this long ordeal, your letters of support and encouragement have helped keep me strong. I am forever indebted to those who wrote to me, made a donation to my defense fund, or came to watch a portion of the trial. I would especially like to thank Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network for their tireless efforts in raising awareness for my case and providing for my legal representation.
As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition. I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility). I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back.
Chelsea E. Manning
A day after being sentenced to 30 years in prison for espionage, Bradley Manning, the Army private and WikiLeaks leaker, announced that he wants to be identified as a woman, and his changing his name to Chelsea Manning.
"I am Chelsea Manning. I am female," Manning told the Today show in a written statement, adding “I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility).”
Bradley Manning identification as transgender, and as a woman came as bit of a surprise when it arose during his sentencing hearing; his lawyers made the point to say that his struggles with gender identity may have been a factor in his cooperation with WikiLeaks. “This is my problem. I’ve had signs of it for a very long time. It’s caused problems within my family. I thought a career in the military would get rid of it,” Manning wrote in a 2010 e-mail to his supervisor and included a picture of himself as a woman with long blonde hair (right).
Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, appeared on the Today show and he does not know whether or not Manning will pursue gender reassignment surgery (or if he will attempt to force the government pay for it). But Coombs did say he was confident that Chelsea Manning would qualify for parole and be out in seven years time, and that she should be pardoned by the president.
Wow. So intense. Everything about this entire tortuous episode which Manning has been put through is both heartbreaking and despicably barbaric.
Prosecutors say the whistle-blower “abetted terrorism,” but his most flagrant offense was subverting outdated norms.
How many people even know the trial is happening? Manning was held for three years without a trial. That is plenty of time for the public to mistakenly assume there was already a court decision and sentencing. And why did they try this case at all? Manning already pled guilty to 10 charges and faces up to 20 years. The remaining charges are bizarrely exaggerated. Using flimsy circumstantial evidence, the government is trying to argue that publishing documents on the internet assists terrorists. And for that they could lock him away for life.
… Manning was tortured in part because he signed a few letters from the brig as “Breanna Elizabeth.” Marine Corps Master Sgt. Craig Blenis defended his cruelty in a December pre-trial hearing. Coombs asked why the marine thought Manning’s gender dysphoria should factor into his “prevention of Injury” status. Blenis answered because “that’s not normal, sir.”
But it is normal. Manning’s gender identity is as normal as his computer use. Using Wget, believing WikiLeaks to be a reputable news source in 2010, listening to Lady Gaga, identifying as a gender different from your assigned sex— this is all normal. It just might take another generation to see this. What is out of the ordinary about Pfc Bradley Manning is his extraordinary courage. If Manning is ever released, he will re-enter a world ready to embrace him, advanced with the understanding to recognize his greatness.
Wait?! Is this for real?! Also, what does it mean that they are “blocking” these tags exactly?
I fucking knew that Yahoo’s purchase of Tumblr would lead to its downfall. We can never have anything nice without some corporate behemoth coming along and totally fucking it all up and turning it into some anodyne commercialized bullshit.
So apparently Counterpunch peddles transphobia in addition to misogyny. Great.
Pro-tip: Calling yourself “progressive” does not shield you from being called out on your bigotry.
I’m an endangered species. Nearly half of people like me attempt suicide. Hundreds of us are murdered annually and, worldwide, that rate is only increasing. Those of us who have a job and a place to live often lose them both; too many of us can’t acquire either in the first place. What I am is a transgender woman, one of the lucky ones.
I’m lucky because I’m white, and because I have employment, housing and health insurance. I can’t get too comfortable, though, because every few days, a tragic headline reminds me of how fragile we are as a group: “Anti-Transgender Bathroom Bill Passes,” “Transgender Inmates At Risk,” “Transgender Woman Shot.” The world is not kind to us and the news never lets me forget that sobering fact.
In some bizarre alternate reality, however, I’m seen as a villain who invades “real” women’s spaces and perpetuates harmful gender stereotypes. A small but vocal band of activists known as “Radfems” see transgender women like myself as a blight on the feminist movement, but — because their views are not representative of the feminist movement as a whole — many trans*-inclusive feminists refer to them as TERFs, or Trans*-Exclusionary Radical Feminists.
… even the leftist publication CounterPunch has felt the need to cover “both sides” of the issue in a series of articles that debate the legitimacy of transgender identity as if we were theoretical abstractions and not human beings. There are not two sides to a debate about whether a group of people should exist.
Furthermore, if the anti-trans* rhetoric that has appeared on CounterPunch over the last two months were transposed onto gay or lesbian identity, leftists would instantly recognize it as homophobic. If Julian Vigo questioned the existence of “straight privilege” instead of the existence of “cisgender privilege,” she would be instantly shouted down by a chorus of gay-affirmative voices. If she posited that lesbians are “confused” in the same way that she argues that transgender folks “confuse sex with gender,” she would be shown the door at any leftist publication worth its salt.
A teen is jailed and registered as a sex offender for having sex with a female peer while “pretending” to be a boy.
A friend writes: “
We are a group of transmen of color looking to share our experiences navigating through life. You will be able to watch us discuss various weekly topics on our respective days Monday through Friday.
"I recently spoke with Kye Allums, the first out transgender NCAA basketball player in history, about the panel we’re doing on LGBT athletes. To hear the excitement in his voice and honestly to hear the excitement in my own voice reminded me why this one weekend of my summer always remains reserved for this utterly unique conference. The variety of talks, the amazing debates in between talks, and the partying late into the night—it’s Woodstock for radicals, and it’s simply not to be missed." —Dave Zirin, sportswriter and author.
When someone in the medical profession who happens to be a co-worker of yours refers to a transgender person as “it” and gets pissed because someone prefers “they” pronouns rather than “he” or “she.”
You’re not funny or “edgey”, you’re just a miserable bigot who has no respect for people’s right to identify however the fuck they want!
Two Americas: One where people selflessly help each other in the wake of tragedies, such as the reactions of myriad kind-hearted souls in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings; the other where bigotry continues to reign supreme …
An Idaho Rosauers grocery store has filed trespassing charges against transgender woman Ally Robledo, banning her from ever shopping there. Her violation, according to Lewiston, Idaho Police Captain Roger Lanier, was “urinating while standing up”:
"LANIER: The store security officer said he had been dealing with a problem over a couple days with the person going into the women’s restroom and urinating while standing up. […] A male subject who was using the female restroom, and that made some women customers uncomfortable because of the appearance that a male was using their restroom.
"The store employees didn’t want any further problems, and they chose to exercise their right to trespass this individual from the business. Anyone who owns or controls their property can make that decision."
Indeed, Idaho is one of 37 states that does not offer nondiscrimination protections based on gender identity in public accommodations, and state law entitles the owner of a property to deny access to anybody.
On the night of February 12, African American transgender woman Kayla Moore died while in the custody of Berkeley police. And now, Bay Area trans activists are up in arms demanding answers.
According to a press release put out by local law enforcement on the day following Moore’s death, Berkeley Police Department officers responded to a disturbance call for a mental health evaluation at an area apartment building just before midnight. Police on the scene were directed by the individual who made the call to a nearby residence, where they encountered Moore.
"During the contact, the subject became increasingly agitated and uncooperative to the officer’s verbal commands and began to scream and violently resist,” said the official report. “After struggling with officers they were able to gain control of the subject and place him in restraints. The subject continued to kick and scream at officers.”
While restrained in a gurney due to her “large stature,” Moore stopped breathing and was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.