Private Chelsea Manning made recent headlines for her request for hormone treatment and the fact that the Pentagon is considering moving Manning to another facility for treatment.
The reporting has come a long way since Manning announced her intention to transition and her name change to Chelsea. At the time, most mainstream news outlets tied themselves into knots worrying about how to refer to Private Manning and what pronouns to use (the answers, respectively, are Chelsea and consistent female pronouns, per her request).
Basic respect for the individual, including correct names and pronouns are essential to telling the story accurately. As news of Manning's transition continues, it will be important for journalists to fairly and accurately report her name, identity, the nature of her requests, and the actions of the Pentagon.
Notes for media covering this story:
- All references to Manning should refer to her as Chelsea and use female pronouns, as is consistent with the AP Style Book guidelines. If necessary, a clarifying sentence may be used which explains that Manning was referred to as "Bradley Manning" during the trial.
- Manning's guilty verdict, as well as the U.S. Army's policy denying transgender-related healthcare to inmates, are not a justification for misgendering, or resorting to stereotypes about transgender women. This is true, not only of reporting, but on spokespeople who may discuss the story.
GLAAD's Media Reference Guide provides specific information for journalists reporting on transgender people and issues.
There are several other posts on GLAAD's blog and elsewhere concerning transgender people in the military, the criminal justice system, and heath care. All of these are pertinent to the Chelsea Manning story.
- National Center for Transgender Equality: http://transequality.org/
- Transgender Law Center: http://transgenderlawcenter.org/
- Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders: http://www.glad.org/
- The Williams Institute: http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/
Transgender military resources:
- The Palm Center: http://www.palmcenter.org/
- SPART*A: http://sparta.nationbuilder.com/
- Secretary of Defense says policy on transgender military service "continually should be reviewed"
- Study finds transgender military members fit to serve, calls for dropping ban
Medical care for transgender people
- The DSM description of gender dysphoria and treatment
- GLAAD and Sylvia Rivera Law Project's campaign against transgender healthcare discrimination
Transgender people in the criminal justice system
GLAAD can provide journalists and media outlets additional resources and spokespeople who can talk to this story.
Report problematic media coverage to GLAAD at http://glaad.org/reportdefamation.