A transgender soldier imprisoned in Kansas for leaking classified information to the WikiLeaks website will end a hunger strike after the Army agreed to allow her to receive medical treatment for her gender dysphoria, the American Civil Liberties Union said Tuesday.
Chelsea Manning’s medical treatment will begin with surgery that was recommended by her psychologist in April, the ACLU said. Manning began the hunger strike at Ft. Leavenworth military prison on Friday, vowing to continue until she received better treatment.
“I am unendingly relieved that the military is finally doing the right thing. I applaud them for that," Manning said in a statement. “This is all that I wanted — for them to let me be me. But it is hard not to wonder why it has taken so long.... In any case, I hope this sets a precedent for the thousands of trans people behind me hoping they will be given the treatment they need.”
Army spokesman Wayne Hall didn’t immediately respond Tuesday evening to a request for comment.
ACLU attorney Chase Strangio said Manning should “enjoy some peace” knowing the medical care was coming.
Strangio said it was troubling that Manning still faced administrative charges related to a suicide attempt on July 5 at the military prison. She wants the Army to drop those charges and to stop efforts to have Manning cut her hair to male military standards.
The ACLU filed a lawsuit in 2014 against the Department of Defense over its refusal to treat Manning’s gender dysphoria.