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I love reading the articles on The Advocate or more specifically, advocate.com. The one article about Chelsea Manning’s medical care, or lack off, is disturbing but the comments to it are more so. One person, who identifies himself as Jim Johnson, is wondering why such treatment should be supplied to someone in prison who is being punished for an offence should get this treatment when it’s not free for those who need it and have not been incarcerated. I was typing up a reply and it started to get lengthy and I haven’t posted in here in like forever so here it is.

Jim, you hit on a very important point – doctors deem the treatment as medically necessary but the government does not. Who should have the say when it comes to funds for any medically required treatment? Should it be the medical profession or the politicians? Those who do have the money, either out of their own pocket or from insurance companies, do get it done but those who don’t have the money are stuck. It’s one of the reasons why there is a high suicide rate for those born transsex and why it is considered necessary. Even if they are stronger and do not take such drastic action many are still going to live a life of torment until such treatments are complete.

If you view this as an elective surgery like a facelift then you are right that the funding for prisoners on the public dime should be denied. But if you view it as necessary, as the medical professionals do, then she should have the treatments paid for. Under the rules now in place the Army cannot treat her because transsexuality is grounds for release and they can’t release her until she’s completed her sentence. They also can’t treat her because this would create a precedent which could be used by those still serving. Until the rules change regarding transsexuality in the uniform, I can’t see anything changing in Chelsea’s case.

Apparently the US military can’t function with those born transsex serving. That’s sad because they can serve openly in other countries in the world. I’m Canadian, transitioned while serving, and about to retire from the RCAF after serving for 36 years. There is nothing wrong for men or women born transsex serving except in the minds of bigots who oppose it.

My two cents,