Chelsea Manning, the whistleblower that leaked military secrets, will be allowed hormone treatment according to reports.
The jailed Wikileaks soldier was approved for gender treatment at the Army’s Fort Leavenworth prison.
But while this is a first for the Army to allow a jailed soldier hormones to transition, Manning will be forced to keep a ‘male’ short haircut.
According to the colonel who approved the treatment, Manning will not be allowed to grow her hair as it could be a ‘security’ risk.
‘After carefully considering the recommendation that [hormone treatment] is medically appropriate and necessary, and weighing all associated safety and security risks presented, I approve adding [hormone treatment] to Inmate Manning’s treatment plan,’ Col. Erica Nelson, the commandant of the Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks in Kansas, wrote in a 5 February memo leaked to USA Today.
Following Manning’s sentence of 35 years in prison for releasing the diplomatic cables and military reports, which she believed should be seen by the public, the solider sued the federal government for access to gender treatment.
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.
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said Manning must be treated as if it was any form of medical care.
‘If she has a heart attack, they have to treat that, too,’ Keisling said. ‘This is no different.’
When Manning revealed she is transgender in 2013, 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.’