Chelsea Manning threatens to sue US Army over its refusal to provide gender confirmation therapy

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Chelsea Manning has said she will take the US Army to court over its continued refusal to provide her with access to gender confirmation therapy.

In a letter posted this week on the website of the Private Manning Support Network, Manning said that her attorney, David Coombs, is helping with the request.

“David E Coombs shall represent me in my effort to receive, at a minimum, the RLE (Real Life Experience) and HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) treatments by assisting me in matters related to exhausting my administrative remedies and if denied outright, in filing a writ before a court with jurisdiction.”

Manning, 25, is at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and serving 35 years for leaking classified material to the website WikiLeaks. She was sentenced in August.

Fort Leavenworth is refusing to provide Manning with gender confirmation treatment. The military has said it does not provide treatment for gender dysphoria.

In August, Mr Coombs told the Associated Press that Manning hoped the prison “will simply do the right thing” so she won’t have to sue.

America still has a long way to go in improving the service experience of transgender people.

While gay, lesbian and bisexual troops can now serve openly in the US military, transgender troops are still left with no clear guidelines and can be discharged if their gender identity is discovered.