Kansas City woman understands Bradley Manning's decision to live life behind bars as a woman

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Transgender experts in Kansas City suggest Bradley Manning's crimes may have been a cry for help.

The internal struggle for Manning who now wants to be known now as Chelsea is one many others have faced.

Kayle Dirnberger is a former member of the military she started her transition only a year ago.

"It was easier for me to go to war and join the military than it was for me to come out to my friends and family," said Dirnberger.

A struggle she realized at the age of four. So when Dirnberger heard Manning's personal story on top of the prison sentence at Fort Leavenworth.

"I can only imagine what's going to happen to her as far as they are not recognizing her as a female. They're not going to give her her medications that she needs to be psychologically stable. Okay, they'll put her on anti-depressants but how is that going to help her as her identification of self as female," said Dirnberger.

Which makes her wonder if Manning's struggle lead to the leak.

"A lot of transgender people are self-inflicting wounds. You could say that what she did is a self-inflicting wound to herself," said Dirnberger.

Hundreds of people come through the doors of the Transgender Institute every year. Caroline Gibbs founded the transgender institute of Kansas City and  explains it's genetic.

Caroline Gibbs says, "Gender dysphoria is an extreme discomfort with one's gender which is a medical condition that most don't understand."

A way to reverse that her patients spend anywhere between $25 to $100 a month for hormone therapy. The cost for the sexual reassignment surgery starts at $20,000. A cost Manning wants covered, which Gibbs understands.

For more information on the Transgender Institute click here.

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