Chelsea Manning could finally be allowed to begin gender treatment, according to reports.
The Pentagon is reportedly considering transferring the US soldier jailed for 35 years for leaking classified documents to a civilian prison to allow her to take hormones.
Since after she came out as trans in August last year following her sentencing, she has been banned from gender treatment.
Officials in the Defense Department have told the Associated Press they do not offer such treatment and Manning cannot be discharged while serving her 35-year sentence – even though transgender people are now allowed to serve in the US military.
But if they were to keep her in a military prison and forced her to live as a man, the treatment could be deemed cruel and unusual, officials have said privately.
It is a similar fear shared by LGBTI rights group, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center who have demanded prison officials provide hormone therapy for transgender inmates.
This week, they sent a letter to Georgia’s Department for Corrections demanding 36-year-old inmate Ashley Diamond receive gender treatment
‘Her voice has deepened. Her facial hair has begun to grow and her body fat has redistributed. Her identity is being erased,’ the SPLC stated.
In the SPLC news release, Diamond says: ‘No one would deny a diabetic prisoner insulin. No one would sentence a person to a gender change.
‘But because I am transgender, I am denied basic medical care and forced to change gender. Nobody should be sentenced to torture like this.’
Judges have routinely agreed with inmates, citing the ‘cruel and unusual’ clause of the Eight Amendment as a justification for striking down bans on hormone therapy.
When Manning revealed she is transgender, she released an open letter to the world.
‘I want everyone to know the real me.’ Manning said. ‘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.’