Thursday, January 7, 2016

January 8: Black Lives Matter vigil, potluck & screening of THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT/ACLU Files Brief for Chelsea Manning's Health

There is usually a silent peace vigil on Fridays, from 5 to 6 PM, sponsored by Homewood Friends and Stony Run Meetings, outside the Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles St.  The next scheduled vigil is on Jan. 8. Black Lives Matter.  Since this is a First Friday, there will be a potluck dinner afterwards, followed by a DVD showing.

The Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Committee, Baltimore Quaker Peace and Justice Committee of Homewood and Stony Run Meetings and Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility are continuing the FILM & SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS DVD SERIES.  The DVDs will be shown at Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21218, usually on the First Friday. At 7:15 PM, from January through June, a DVD will be shown with a discussion to follow.  There is no charge, and refreshments will be available. The series theme is CHANGE IS INEVITABLE.

On Fri., Jan. 8 see THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT [2010] Director Lisa Cholodenko’s film is about two children who were conceived via artificial insemination.  They want to meet their father.  The actors are Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson.  This beautifully acted tale of a lesbian couple and their children offers an acute study of modern relationships. It is a smart comedy about the relationship between the sperm donor and the postmodern family--a lesbian couple and their children. Call 410-366-1637 or email mobuszewski [at] for further information.     

Published on Portside (

ACLU Files Brief for Chelsea Manning's Health

Jos Truitt

Monday, December 7, 2015

   December 7, 2015, the ACLU filed an opposition brief in the case of Chelsea Manning’s medical care. The military finally began providing Manning hormones [1] at the beginning of this year, but they are still requiring her to follow male grooming standards [2].

     ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio explained to me, “Chelsea has been fighting since she arrived at the [United States Disciplinary Barracks] more than two years ago to receive treatment for her gender dysphoria and to be treated like the woman that she is.  Though we had some success in getting Chelsea treatment after we first filed our lawsuit and she has now been receiving hormone therapy for almost a year, she continues to be forced to follow male grooming standards and is forced to have her hair cut every other week to a length not to exceed two inches. Though the government has attempted to minimize the harm this has caused to Chelsea, her medical providers agree that the continued refusal to adequately treat her gender dysphoria and the government’s insistence on treating her as male is having devastating effects on her physical and mental health.”

    The ACLU’s brief explains the importance of this case [3] (link to pdf):
This case is about more than hairstyles. It is about medical treatment for a long misunderstood and stigmatized condition, and about a prisoner’s core identity and her need to be seen and treated in accordance with that identity … By the time [Chelsea Manning] was recognized as female and prescribed treatment, she was already incarcerated. But her incarceration makes her no less of a woman nor does it make her medical needs any less urgent. For a person with gender dysphoria, the ability to consolidate and express gender is not merely a choice but rather a critical part of treatment. To enforce male grooming standards against Plaintiff is to undermine her treatment and mark her as different solely because of her sex, gender identity, assigned sex at birth and transgender status.

    The Department of Justice has made [4] the absurd, victim blaming argument that barring Manning from growing her hair out is about security concerns and protecting her from potential assaults, as if her fellow inmates don’t already know who she is or that she’s a woman in a men’s prison.

    Strangio concluded, “We are inspired by Chelsea’s continued courage to fight for her needs and for justice and we are honored to fight with her for the treatment she deserves and is constitutionally entitled to receive.”

    I’m inspired too, and I hope to see Manning win this important fight quickly.
Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy.

  Feministing is an online community run by and for young feminists. For over a decade, we’ve been offering sharp, uncompromising feminist analysis of everything from pop culture to politics and inspiring young people to make real-world feminist change, online and off. 


Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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