Manning’s gender identity became one of the many topics discussed in his lengthy trial, for which he now faces up to 90 years in prison for the unauthorized release of vital information.
Reportedly, Manning had numerous concerns about his gender identity, which he had hoped the army would help him sort out. Eventually coming out to Captain Michael Worsley, the embattled soldier sent pictures of himself dressed as a woman to illustrate his “problem.”
Worsley surmised that the lack of a support network in a super-macho environment may have contributed to this espionage drama. “You put him in that kind of hyper-masculine environment, if you will, with little support and few coping skills, the pressure would have been difficult to say the least,” Worsley said, according to the AP. “It would have been incredible.”
Manning’s lawyers argued somewhat unsuccessfully that a clearly emotionally fragile person should not have been given classified information in an already volatile and stressful circumstance to begin with. Manning’s apology on Wednesday less directly referred to his struggle’s with his own identity. “At the time of the decision, as you know, I was dealing with a lot of issues, issues that are ongoing,” he told told the judge, Col. Denise Lind.
While the amount of time he will have to serve is yet to be determined, Pfc. Manning has already pleaded guilty to a number of the espionage charges brought against him.
Ed. note: Manning has been referred to by the male pronoun in most media coverage, so we have decided to use “he/him/his” for this post.