Chelsea Manning, the former Army private sentenced to thirty-five years in prison for leaking classified material to Wikileaks, won a court suit Wednesday that will force the Army to refer to her in future court filings by her formal name and to use feminine pronouns.
The US Army Court of Criminal Appeals, in a two-page decision, ordered that any “[r]eference 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 pronoun.”
Manning’s lawyers filed requests for the proper use of her real name in court filings, and the Army filed an opposition earlier this year.
“This is an important development in Chelsea’s fight for adequate medical care for her gender dysphoria,” said Chase Strangio, an ACLU attorney representing Manning. “That fight continues but at least the government can no longer attempt to erase Chelsea’s identity by referring to her as male in every legal filing.”
Manning, who is being held at Fort Leavenworth, began a regimen of hormone therapy last month after a multi-year court battle. She is the first person to receive hormone treatment from the military, as transgendered soldiers are still not permitted.
The military will not, however, allow Manning to grow her hair like female prisoners.