David Sowinski ’25 (He/Him) & Anaya Patel ’25 (She/They)
Chelsea Manning is an American activist and former Army intelligence analyst known for violating the Espionage Act and serving a shortened sentence of seven years in prison. After discovering more than 15,000 unreported civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Iran, as well as the U.S. military’s failure to investigate detainee torture, she disclosed 750,000 military documents to WikiLeaks.
Manning is also known for being a transgender woman. Despite identifying as a woman for many years, her military imprisonment prevented her from undergoing gender-affirming surgery until her release in 2017. After the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Department of Defense for denying Manning access to “medically necessary treatment for her gender dysphoria,” the Army allowed Manning to receive hormone therapy beginning in February 2015.
Having spent time in a men’s prison, and being subjected to treatment deemed excessively harsh, Manning possesses an experience that is critical to examining problems in both the U.S. military and penitentiary systems. Manning herself has made her living by attending speaking engagements in which she talks about some of her experiences with the military and in the political realm.
On May 3rd, Manning will be coming to Davidson College to give one such talk sponsored by Queers and Allies (Q&A) and other advocacy-related organizations. Manning will speak on queer and trans aspects of government and offer her own unique lens to questions and issues surrounding the LGBTQ+ community’s relationship with the U.S. government and military. Make sure to be in the Lilly Gallery to hear from Manning, and follow @DavidsonQandA on Instagram for more information.
As this is the last edition of the Queer Corner for this semester, we want to say thank you for reading and supporting the Queer Community at Davidson. Have a fruity summer!