The US Army private convicted of espionage in the WikiLeaks case says the name is now 'Chelsea Manning.' That's set off a debate over how to refer to transgender people.
So there’s this young US Army private named “Manning.”
You remember: The intelligence analyst in Iraq who leaked a massive trove of classified military information to the controversial whistleblower outfit WikiLeaks? The one convicted of espionage who’s about to spend as many as 35 years in the Army’s maximum security prison at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas?
OK. Everybody knows that. But there’s a problem.
The first name on Manning's dog tags is “Bradley,” as it is on all official documents where the identification states “male.” But as the young soldier headed off to incarceration, Manning declared "I'm transgender" – personally identified as a female, intending to take the necessary steps to make the physical change – and that the proper first name now – immediately – is “Chelsea.”
You’ll note that I’ve cleverly avoided using gender-specific pronouns here so far – no “he” or “she,” no “him” or “her.” (I’ll also note that Manning did not have to do this to us. I have a female cousin perfectly happy to be named “Bradley,” which is an old family name.)
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