Manning announced the decision in a written statement provided to NBC's "Today" show, asking supporters to refer to her by her new name and the feminine pronoun. Her statement was signed "Chelsea E. Manning."
"As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible," the statement read.
NLGJA recognizes the challenges some newsrooms may face in covering Manning’s transition from male to female.
Here are a couple of guidelines that may help you in your coverage.
- Things that are simple in most stories get tricky when writing about transgender subjects, particularly names and pronouns. As per AP style, one should use the name and pronouns that someone prefers. It’s not about drivers’ licenses or birth certificates. Because of Manning’s name recognition, we suggest that she be referenced as “US Army Private Chelsea Manning, who formerly went by the name Bradley.”
- It is not about surgeries and hormones. If a person wants to talk about these very personal topics, fine, but one’s gender identity and right to be respected aren’t dependent on taking such actions, nor are these necessarily public topics.
- Avoid playing into stereotypes. Not all trans people are seeking to become the archetype of the gender to which they are transitioning. And, at the same time, lots of people who don’t change gender aren’t necessarily the physical epitome of what one thinks of as a man or woman. Avoid subjective assessments of how someone passes.
While the basics on gender transitions are covered in the AP Stylebook, you can find far more in NLGJA's stylebook, http://www.nlgja.org/files/NLGJAStylebook0712.pdf.
NLGJA members in print, broadcast, online, international and national newsrooms will be covering this story as well. NLGJA is not an advocacy group, but a group of working journalism professionals dedicated to ensuring fair and accurate coverage of the LGBT community.
Please consider that words matter. Research has shown that LGBT teens and young adults have one of the highest rates of all suicide attempts. Depression and drug use among LGBT people have both been shown to increase significantly after new laws that discriminate against gay people are passed. Bullying of LGBT youth has been shown to be a contributing factor in many suicides, even if not all of the attacks have been specifically addressing sexuality or gender.
NLGJA isn't just for LGBT people. As your colleagues, we are here for all journalists. Please feel free to reach out to our leaders and members for guidance and assistance. NLGJA is currently hosting it's National Convention and LGBT Media Summit in Boston, Massachusetts. You can follow the conversation at nlgjaconnect.org.
Convicted WikiLeaks soldier Bradley Manning confirmed today that she is transgender and asked to be referred to as Chelsea and with female pronouns.
Mannings' lawyer, David Coombs told the Today show that he hoped officials at the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., will accommodate Manning's request for hormone treatment, but the Army said it doesn't provide it or sex-reassignment surgery.
Here is the complete military statement:
We are aware that counsel representing the soldier convicted under the name Bradley Manning conveys that his client now openly identifies as female.
There is no mechanism in place for the US military to provide hormone therapy or gender-reassignment surgery for her.
Inmates at the United States Disciplinary Barracks and Joint Regional Correctional Facility are treated equally regardless of race, rank, ethnicity or sexual orientation. All inmates are considered soldiers and are treated as such with access to mental health professionals, including a
psychiatrist, psychologist, social workers and behavioral science noncommissioned officers with experience in addressing the needs of military personnel in pre- and post-trial confinement.
BY STEPHEN WILSON, AP SPORTS WRITER
LONDON -- The Russian government assured the IOC on Thursday it will not discriminate against homosexuals during the Sochi Olympics, while defending the law against gay "propaganda" that has provoked an international backlash.
The IOC received a letter from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak giving reassurances the host country will comply fully with the Olympic Charter's provision against discrimination of any kind.
"The Russian Federation guarantees the fulfillment of its obligations before the International Olympic Committee in its entirety," Kozak said.
However, Kozak did not back down on the issue of the new law, which penalizes anyone who distributes information aimed at persuading minors that "nontraditional" relationships are normal or attractive.
The law applies equally to everyone and "cannot be regarded as discrimination based on sexual orientation," Kozak said.
The letter still leaves open the question of what would happen to Olympic athletes or fans if they make statements or gestures that could be considered propaganda.
BY DAVID DISHNEAU AND PAULINE JELINEK, ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK -- Bradley Manning says he plans to live as a woman and begin hormone therapy, a day after the soldier was sentenced to 35 years in prison for sending classified information to WikiLeaks.
In a written statement provided to NBC's "Today" show on Thursday morning, Manning said he planned to live as a woman named Chelsea.
A military judge announced the sentence in Manning's court-martial on Wednesday. Manning's struggle with gender identity disorder — his sense that he was a man trapped in a woman's body — was a key part of his defense.
Attorneys had presented evidence of Manning's struggle with gender identity, including a photo of the soldier in a blond wig and lipstick that he sent to a therapist.