Chelsea Manning Got Sex Reassignment Surgery

Grace Carr | Reporter

Chelsea Manning received sex reassignment surgery, marking the culmination of a longtime saga regarding Manning’s gender identity and military status after he leaked thousands of sensitive documents to the public.

First reported by the New York Daily News Sunday, the former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army received sex reassignment surgery last week, meaning that his male genitalia have been removed and crafted as closely as possible into what resemble female genitalia.

Formerly known as “Bradley,” Manning ascended into the public limelight after he leaked over 700,000 sensitive documents to WikiLeaks in 2010. He was convicted and imprisoned from 2010 to 2017 for violating the Espionage Act.

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison but was freed after former President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence before leaving office. Following Manning’s release from prison, he sought the Democratic Party’s nomination for a Senate seat in Maryland.

WATCH:

There were 3,200 gender affirmation surgeries in the U.S. in 2016, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPC) reported in May 2017. The procedures can include anything from breast reduction or augmentation, facial feminization procedures, body contouring and genital reassignment surgeries. For female-to-male genital reassignment operations, doctors can use tissue from a patient’s forearm, thigh or back, according to Health LineConversely, male-to-female surgery mainly uses genital tissue that’s already available. (RELATED: Woman Who Got New Jersey’s First Penis Surgery Tells All)

A Sunday report indicated the Trump administration will define gender as determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable,” according to a memo obtained by The New York Times. The definition would define gender as either female or male, according to the person’s genitalia at birth. Discrepancies would be determined by genetic testing, the memo indicates. (RELATED: Trump Administration Considering Policy That Eradicates ‘Transgender’ Identity)

Chelsea Manning poses for photographs at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, October 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

“Laws don’t determine our existence – *we* determine our existence – it’s our weapon, our shelter, our energy, our healer, our truth – we will keep moving forward – we will keep fighting – existence is *our* only law,” Manning tweeted after news of the proposed policy broke.

The Department of Health and Human Services will present the new definition of gender to the Department of Justice by January 2019, according to Trump administration officials.

Chelsea Manning speaks at the South by Southwest festival in Texas, March 2018. REUTERS/Suzanne Cordeiro

The new policy would affect the status of transgender people serving in the military as well as transgender students. Since Obama loosened the definition of Title IX, divisive battles have been fought over which bathroom students can use in school as well as what sports teams they can play on. Companies have adopted plans covering the cost of therapies and surgeries for transgender and transitioning employees. Some states have mandated that insurance companies pay for sex change operations and other cosmetic procedures.

The Pentagon paid for the first U.S. active-duty soldier to have a sex change operation in November 2017.

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