29 August 2013

Chelsea Update

Chelsea is currently going through the indoctrination process at the Fort Leavenworth United States Disciplinary Barracks (USDB).  The indoctrination process lasts approximately three weeks and is designed to give a new inmate information on the facility and the opportunities available within the USDB.  Ordinarily, an inmate is not allowed to have any outside contact during the indoctrination period.  The USDB, however, made an exception for Chelsea. 

Yesterday was my first opportunity to speak with Chelsea since her sentencing.  I am happy to report that she is doing very well at the USDB, and has already made several friends who accept her for who she is.  Due to going through indoctrination, Chelsea was unaware of the response to her public statement on the Today show.  During our conversation, I informed Chelsea of the overwhelming support for her decision.  I also told her about how most responsible media have elected to respect her wishes and refer to her by her new name.  Chelsea was very happy to hear of these developments.  She requested that I relay how grateful that she is for everyone's understanding and continued support. 

In the coming weeks, I will go to the USDB to tour the facility and to speak with the chain of command and the medical health professionals.  It is my continued hope that we will be able to obtain hormone therapy and other necessary medical treatment for Chelsea at the USDB.  These requests address a serious medical need of Chelsea and are consistent with the general medical community's practice of adequate medical care for those with gender dysphoria

If you would like to support Chelsea by writing to her, please use the following address:

Bradley E. Manning
89289
1300 N. Warehouse Road
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027-2304

You may also look to the Private Manning Support Network and this website for the latest updates on our efforts to support Chelsea through this new phase of her life. 

26 August 2013

Additional Clarification on PVT Manning's Request

On Thursday, August 22, 2013, a day following the sentencing verdict for the court-martial of United States v. PFC Bradley E. Manning, PVT Manning, who has experienced gender dysphoria and gone through a process of gender questioning and exploration for years, announced that she would like to begin to be known publicly by the name of Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, pursue hormone therapy and be referred to with female pronouns.

While PVT Manning wants supporters to acknowledge and respect her gender identity as she proceeds into the post-trial state of her life, she also expects that the name Bradley Manning and the male pronoun will continue to be used in certain instances.  These instances include any reference to the trial, in legal documents, in communication with the government, in the current petition to the White House calling for clemency, and on the envelope of letters written to her by supporters.  She also expects that many old photos and graphics will remain in use for the time being.

In response to PVT Manning's announcement, the Bradley Manning Support Network is changing its name to the Private Manning Support Network, and will work on changing other frequently used parts of its website and materials to incorporate the name Chelsea and the female pronoun.  However, completing this process may take some time.

The Support Network has played an important role in organizing public support for PVT Manning since her arrest, and in raising funds to cover 100% of her legal fees.  The Support Network will continue its political advocacy efforts to support PVT Manning through this new phase of her life by raising money for the appeals process, advocating for clemency from the Convening Authority and the President and supporting PVT Manning's right to appropriate medical treatment while imprisoned.

Thank you all for supporting our efforts over the years.  The fight for PVT Manning's freedom is far from over, but we take hope from the many caring and compassionate people who have taken time out of their day to write to her, to sign petitions, to attend the court-martial and to join protests and other actions around the world.  We hope you will help us continue this important work to bring truth and transparency to the forefront of America's conscious.  And we hope you will continue to support PVT Manning, a humanist that we have already learned a great deal from, and who we believe still has much to offer this world.

Sincerely,

David Edward Coombs and the Private Manning Support Network