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Transgender In America

Chelsea Manning – formerly Bradley Manning – is all over in the news. We talk with transgender Americans about that life.

2013 rally for transgender equality. (Flickr/Ted Eytan)

2013 rally for transgender equality in Washington DC. (Flickr/Ted Eytan)

The story of Private then-Bradley Manning and his massive leak of classified documents to Wikileaks was big enough.  The day after Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for that leak, it got bigger.  Manning’s attorney announced that the Army private self-identified as a woman.  That her name was now Chelsea.

And with that, millions of Americans were pointed again to the world of transgender fellow citizens.  To the complexity of gender identity and to often complex feelings in response.

This hour, On Point:  we talk with transgender Americans about their lives, their reality.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Deirdre McCloskey, professor of economics, history, english, and communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Born Donald McCloskey, she transitioned from male to female in 1995, at the age of 53. Author of “Crossing: A Memoir.” (@deirdremcclosk)

Ryan Sallans, LGBT activist. Born Kimberly Ann Sallans. He transitioned from female to male in 2005, when he was 25. He consults and trains higher education, healthcare agencies and non-profit organizations on LGBTQ issues. Author of “Second Son: Transitioning Toward my Destiny, Love and Life.” (@rsallans)

Andrew Solomon, author and journalist, writing on politics, culture and psychology. He looks at transgender youth, among other issues, in his latest book, “Far from the Tree:  Parents, Children and the Search for Identity.” (@andrew_solomon)

From Tom’s Reading List

CBS News: Bradley Manning identifies as transgender: Transitioning explained — “Experts stress that transgender is part of a wide continuum of gender identity. As Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper wrote in The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals, ‘Today, gender can no longer really be considered a two-option category.’ They emphasize the importance of patients and families understanding that they are not alone and that there are competent professionals who can help.”

CBS News: NYPD Investigating Beating Death Of Transgender Woman In Harlem — “The NYPD is investigating the death of a transgender woman as a possible hate crime. The victim, 21-year-old Islan Nettles, died Thursday night five days after she was attacked in Harlem, police said.”

NBC News: Manning lawyer gives more details on decision to become ‘Chelsea’ — “Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning — who was convicted and sentenced to military prison under the name Bradley Manning for leaking classified documents in the Wikileaks case — chose to announce her intention to live life as a woman after the military publicly said it wouldn’t provide hormone treatments for the sex change, according to an interview Monday with Manning’s attorney.”

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