NBC reporter Ken Dilanian has come under fire for misgendering US intelligence leaker Chelsea Manning during a news report.
Dilanian misgendered Manning on MSNBC’s Live with Hallie Jackson and MSNBC’s Live with Stephanie Ruhle, according to MediaMatters.org.
In the reports, Dilanian referred to Manning as “he” and “him” while reporting that Julian Assange allegedly engaged in a conspiracy with Manning to steal US secrets.
Dilanian misgendered Manning in two reports
“Assange conspired and encouraged Manning to steal those top-secret documents,” Dilanian said in one broadcast.
“Recall that Manning was a private with the army in Iraq at the time, and he downloaded on disks tens of thousands of highly classified documents relating to both the military and the State Department, and what these charges say is that Assange encouraged him to do that in a criminal manner.”
In a later report, Dilanian said: “He was downloading hundreds of thousands of top-secret U.S. government files from the military and from the State Department, and he was sending them to Assange and WikiLeaks to make public.”
Media Matters has heavily criticised Dilanian for misgendering Manning in the report, and said: “Misgendering trans people is a tactic used by right-wing media and extreme anti-LGBTQ groups to invalidate trans identities.”
A 2014 study in the journal Self and Identity asked transgender people about misgendering and how it made them feel.
32.8 percent said they felt very stigmatised when they were misgendered. Those who were frequently misgendered reported experiencing lower self-esteem around their appearance.
Chelsea Manning underwent gender confirmation surgery last year
Transgender whistleblower Chelsea Manning underwent gender confirmation surgery last year.
In a post on Twitter last October, Manning wrote: “after almost a decade of fighting – thru prison, the courts, a hunger strike, and thru the insurance company – I finally got surgery this week.”
She first came out as a transgender woman in 2013 while she was serving a 35-year prison sentence for leaking files to WikiLeaks while serving in the US military.
The prisoner was denied the right to transition while in jail, leading her to make several suicide attempts.
The American Civil Liberties Union supported her 2014 legal action supporting her right to present as female while in Fort Leavenworth military prison, where she was forced to keep male dress standards, referred to using male pronouns, and denied the right to transition.
A separate legal complaint in 2016 alleged that Manning had been denied access to correspondence and media clippings, including printouts of PinkNews articles relating to her transition.
In one of his final acts as President in December 2016, Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence, allowing her release in May 2017 after serving a fifth of the original sentence.