Soap Box

Well, it’s that time again, folks. Time for me to step up on my soap box.

Perhaps I’m wrong, and I beg someone to correct me if I am. As I understand it, Chelsea (Bradley) Manning, who feels she is trapped in a man’s body, and accused and sentenced to prison for 35 years for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks, demands that she receives hormone treatments to live as a woman.

Oh, yeah? And I want liposuction!

Don’t get me wrong. I believe I understand transgendered issues. One’s gender does not determine one’s sexuality. Gender and Sexuality are two entirely different arguments. It’s taken me some years to wrap my brain around that reality, but I think I honestly understand it. What I don’t understand, however, is the timing of Manning’s demand (Yes, to me it seems like a demand, not a request). Why now, after being sentenced, would she declare that she needs this medical assistance? Why should the American public, through the taxes they pay, pay for her hormone treatments (and possible later gender reassignment surgery)? Though I also strongly disagree with Leavenworth’s statement that they will give her psychiatric treatment. It’s not a psychological disease! 

And why is it so urgent that she receive it now, and not simply wait until her sentence is completed (whether the full 35 years, or after being granted probation)? After all, her issue is not a life-threatening one if not medically cared for such as kidney failure, heart disease, diabetes, or HIV.

The people of whom I know that are transgendered have one thing in common – they paid for it themselves. And that is my only problem with Manning’s demands.

There was no financial help for other transgendered individuals; they had to arrange how it would be paid for by themselves, knowing full well that insurance companies wouldn’t gleefully pay for it. (Hell, the insurance companies will barely pay for what they’re supposed to!) They fought through the issues on their own, raised the money on their own, and after many years took the brave stance to have the final surgery done on their own.

But what is it about Manning that puts her above and beyond every other normal American citizen who has NOT committed a treasonous crime. How does she (and her attorneys who will try to force the prison, and thus the tax payers) justify using the public’s hard-earned dollars to pay for her hormone therapy treatment and possible future surgery? I’d like to have LASIK surgery done to correct my vision (which, incidentally, will cost infinitely less than the hormone treatment therapy… just sayin’), but strangely enough, taxpayer dollars won’t pay for it (not even insurance will pay for it!).

I might possibly understand someone such as a Congressman (or even a serviceman who literally sacrificed his life for our freedoms) who had given many years of service to defend our freedoms and laws and equality, getting special treatment. But what Manning is requesting (more like ‘demanding,’ actually) is just unconscionable. 

The LGBT community (the T is for Transgendered, just in case you didn’t know) needs to continue to fight for rights these days – those God-given equal rights that everyone else has. Manning, however, is someone who is making inappropriate demands in the name of the LGBT community. That’s shameful. That’s taking advantage – of both the LGBT community, and of the taxpayers dollars.

<Steps off soap box>