US: Chelsea Manning’s lawyer is unable to confirm gender affirming treatment

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Chelsea Manning’s legal team is unable to confirm last week’s report of Manning receiving gender affirming treatment, while being housed in an all-male correctional facility in Texas.

Thursday, the Associate Press reported that Manning was to begin gender affirming treatment, despite the Defense Department’s previous claim of lacking the expertise needed to aid her transition.

Last week, David Coombs, Manning’s lawyer, told The Associated Press: “It has been almost a year since we first filed our request for adequate medical care. I am hopeful that when the Army says it will start a ‘rudimentary level’ of treatment that this means hormone replacement therapy.”

But Friday afternoon, Chase Strangio, a lawyer for Manning, told BuzzFeed that Manning’s legal team had not been informed of the specifics of her treatment. Strangio was unable to confirm the extent of the treatment or whether it would meet the recommended treatment guidelines for Manning. He also could not confirm whether or not Manning was currently receiving treatment.

Stragio added that the announcement on Thursday by the Department of Defense had been surprising.

Manning has previously threatened to sue the US Army over its refusal to provide gender confirmation therapy.

A former intelligence analyst in the US Army, Manning came out as transgender last August, shortly after being sentenced to 35 years in prison for violating the Espionage Act.