Chelsea Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking a massive trove of secret documents to Wikileaks in 2013, won a legal victory over the U.S. Army this week, when a court ordered the military to refer to Manning as a woman.
“Reference to appellant in all future formal papers filed before this court and all future orders and decisions issued by this court shall either be neutral, e.g., Private First Class Manning or appellant, or employ a feminine pronounce,” an army court ruled, in what is a second major victory for Manning in a month.
Two days after Manning was sentenced, she came out as transgender. She’s since been fighting the Army—which bans transgender individuals from serving -- to allow her to begin hormone therapy and live as a woman. In February, the Army agreed to allow Manning to begin hormone treatment.
"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," the military prison commander said in a memo.
The case could be seen as a precedent for other transgender military members, who currently serve in secret. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter recently signaled his support for amending the military’s ban on transgender members, of which there are an estimated 15,000, according on one advocacy group.