Chelsea Manning Responds to US Government Move to Dismiss Lawsuit Seeking Health Care for Gender Dysphoria

For Immediate Release: November 13, 2015

Christina DiPasquale, 202.716.1953
Crystal Cooper, 212.519.7894,

Chelsea Manning Responds to US Government Move to Dismiss Lawsuit Seeking Health Care for Gender Dysphoria

The Department of Justice has filed a brief In Chelsea Manning¹s case against the United States government challenging her request to grow her hair beyond the two inches allowed by military regulation. The government¹s brief argues, among others things, that withholding this treatment is for Chelsea¹s own good to protect her from alleged assaults if she is permitted to further feminize in accordance with her medical needs.

Said Chelsea Manning:

"I believe that defining ourselves in our own terms and in our own languages is one of the most powerful and important rights that we have as human beings. Presenting myself in the gender that I am is about my right to exist. What the government is basically telling me is 'you cannot exist,' that 'you are wrong,' and that 'you do not exist.’ What they are doing is taking away our right to exist. I think this is the kind of situation that justifies all kinds of terrible things like ignorance, maltreatment, torture, murder, and genocide. 

“Nobody knows your gender more than you do. No‹one. You do not know my gender better than I do. A doctor doesn¹t know it better than me. My parents don¹t know it better than me. No one experiences my gender in the way that I experience it. Gender presentation should reflect the person that you are. When you lose control of your gender presentation you lose an important aspect of your identity and existence.”

Chelsea Manning's statement is on Medium, here:

Said Chase Strangio, Chelsea Manning¹s lawyer in the ACLU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Project:

“The government is attempting to complicate and diminish Chelsea¹s core constitutional rights to be treated equally and to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Chelsea¹s demand is simple: that she be treated with her medically necessary treatment and like all other women in military custody. Her fight is central to the pursuit for justice for transgender people and for those who are incarcerated and we are honored to fight alongside her.”

In September 2015, military officials again denied her repeated requests to be treated as female for purposes of hair length and hair grooming regulations, a recommended part of her treatment for gender dysphoria. Chelsea Manning is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

The government¹s brief may be found here:

More information about ACLU case Manning v. Hagel is available at:


Christina DiPasquale