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chelsea manning accuses caitlyn jenner of "selling out" the trans movement

Jenner was criticised recently for suggesting people still feel uncomfortable if a trans person looks like "a man in a dress".

by Nick Levine
|
31 December 2015, 2:46pm

Chelsea Manning, the American whistleblower who is serving a 35-year prison sentence for leaking classified military documents, has accused Caitlyn Jenner of "selling out" the trans rights movement. The former US Army soldier, who is also a trans woman, tweeted on Christmas Eve: "In 2015 @Caitlyn_Jenner ws the grinch who stole (& sold out) the trans movement. All I want 4 Xmas is Universal Trans Lib."

In 2015 @Caitlyn_Jenner ws the grinch who stole (& sold out) the trans movement. All I want 4 Xmas is Universal Trans Lib. #ChristmasEve2015

— Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) December 24, 2015

Manning's criticism of Jenner is somewhat surprising in the light of reports this August that she was facing "indefinite solitary confinement" for possessing in her cell several publications which prison authorities reportedly disapproved of, including Jenner's landmark Vanity Faircover. However, her anti-Jenner tweet arrives shortly after the I Am Cait star felt the need to apologise for her controversial recent interview with TIME magazine, in which she suggested that society at large still feels uncomfortable if a trans person looks like "a man in a dress". "I guess it's true that there are some things that I have not gotten right. Sometimes this is because I'm still finding out about the issues. Sometimes this is because something that is true for me isn't true for other people in our community," Jenner wrote on her website on 14 December. "I think I caused a lot of hurt with this comment, and I'm truly sorry."

Perhaps the most productive interpretation of Manning's tweet is to read it as a plea for society to embrace more high-profile trans figures. Caitlyn Jenner has helped trans visibility immeasurably in 2015, but as a privileged white woman who is a member of a globally famous family, her transition story is a very specific one. Let's hope that in 2016 we hear many different stories from a wide variety of trans men and women.

Tagged:
trans
Caitlyn Jenner
chelsea manning
trans movement