Amid much talk of Chelsea Manning's transitional status
, this interesting factoid shared by Boing Boing pal Andrea James: a Williams Institute study
says trans people serve in the US military at rates double that of the general population. Despite the math, "they nonetheless face discrimination during and after service."
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Part of the problem with the Chelsea Manning situation is that it's spawned a lot of not-terribly-well-informed discussion about the roles and experiences of transgendered people in the military. There's a risk of this one big anecdote coming to represent the whole. Enter the Kinsey Institute — America's favorite source of sexuality science — which just got a grant to do actual research on the lives of transgender service members. — Maggie
We asked writer, film director, Boing Boing contributor, and transgender educator and activist Andrea James what she thought about the media confusion following Private Manning‘s gender transition revelation. Below, Andrea’s thoughts.
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The Army uses this name and address: Bradley E. Manning, 89289, 1300 N. Warehouse Road, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 66027-2304. (via Nathan Fuller
) — Xeni
[UPDATE BELOW]. A reader who works at CNN shares "the guidance the news folks are following" on how to refer to Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley Manning--the transgender soldier who announced to the world she wished to be publicly seen as female one day after receiving a 35 year prison sentence for leaking secret US government documents to Wikileaks.
"Manning hasn't taken any steps yet toward gender transition so use masculine pronouns ('he' and 'him')," the internal guidance reads.
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After Army judge Colonel Denise Lind announced the 35-year sentence for Bradley Manning
on Wednesday, defense attorney David Coombs read a statement from the soldier that will be part of a pardon request to be submitted to President Barack Obama. That statement follows, below.
Speaking at a press conference after the sentencing Wednesday, Coombs also described Pfc. Manning's reaction as the sentence was announced. Coombs spoke about how he and his colleagues on the defense team were crying. Manning turned to them and said, “It’s okay. It’s alright. I know you did your best. I’m going to be okay. I’m going to get through this.”
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Was the "draconian sentence" delivered in Pfc. Manning's case simply a matter of deterrence, asks John Cassidy
at the New Yorker
? "From the beginning, the Pentagon has treated Manning extremely harshly, holding him in solitary confinement for almost a year and then accusing him of aiding the enemy—a charge that carries the death penalty...It certainly looked like an instance of powerful institutions and powerful people punishing a lowly private for revealing things that they would rather have kept hidden." — Xeni
A deterrent, writes Amy Davidson
. "A frightening, crippling sentence was the only way to make sure that no one leaked again, ever. What it seems likely to do is chill necessary whistle-blowing and push leakers to extremes. The lesson that Edward Snowden, the N.S.A. leaker, seems to have drawn from the prosecutions of Manning and others is that, if you have something you think people should know, take as many files as you can and leave the country." [The New Yorker] — Xeni
In Ecuador, the nation's head of intelligence agency "has asked the legislature to draft a bill that would outlaw the publication of classified documents, amid growing concerns over a government clampdown on the media," writes Rosie Gray at Buzzfeed
. The South American country has been in the news recently for providing shelter to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at its embassy in London, and for offering a travel document to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. — Xeni
"An article on The Times’s Web site on Thursday morning on the gender issue continued to use the masculine pronoun and courtesy title. That, said the associate managing editor Philip B. Corbett, will evolve over time." How much time does a New York Times editor need
to write the word "she" or "her"? — Xeni