[Potty language in video, so watch at your own discretion, and prolly NSFW. ;-*]
So, the Manning thing.
We all have our own worlds to live through. I can't crawl inside someone else's psyche and determine what they actually are feeling or thinking. We have to take some things at face value. When someone says to their friends and family (or to the whole world) that they are trapped in a wrong body, I would not presume to say they are lying. I am certain their struggle is genuine and a very painful one, and my heart goes out to them. I joke that I'm actually tall and statuesque, but genetics speak otherwise, so I try to be clean, presentable and to make the most of my humble assets. For some people, though, there is a more profound disconnect between their physical gender and the way their brain is hard-wired. Again- we can't PROVE what is someone's head, but I believe them when they say that despite their outward appearance, they self-perceive as opposite gender.
I realize there are tendencies-- many boys tend to play with toy fire-engines and many girls will gravitate to the dolls and tea-sets-- but I don't hold that certain tasks or habits are male- or female-exclusive. I know many women who mow the lawn and bring home the bacon to Mr. Mom who quite happily washes the dishes and laundry and gets the kids off to school. Truth be known, I think in most households, there is a division of labor along very personal lines that don't have to do with gender. (Personally, I'd love Mr. Tolewyn to come tidy up my house, and I'm sure it makes his skin crawl to visit, as he is OCD and peculiarly tidy and I am, well, me!) Further, I don't think most people analyze everything they do and think "is this a masculine or feminine thing?" as they go through their day. To do so would be exhausting, unbalanced and silly.
This is a bit of a ramble, and I'll try to get my mud into enough of a ball that you can see my point. People going through gender-identity issues have enough cruel crap to deal with in life without some traitorous person hitching his big bag of bullshit to their wagon. Manning has gotten him/herself into a world of shit by his/her own actions, and should now have the grace, decency and dignity to not make a greater spectacle of him/herself by associating people with gender identity issues with Manning's actions and the consequences thereof.
In Big City, I had several residents in various stages of gender reassignment and they were lovely, low-key people who were just trying to live an external life that reflected their innermost being. They were quiet, unassuming, and frankly they were the opposite of flamboyant dressers. Most people with gender identity issues are remarkably average and just trying to get through life as people do, and most are not trying to call attention to themselves, believe it or not. And they were all very likeable.
While I do not dispute that Manning is clearly a muddled individual, my belief is that genuine or not, Manning's gender identity issues did not result in his treasonous behavior.
Here's a video of Eddie Izzard (LOVE him) a male lesbian comedian performing in a frock and makeup and talking about perceptions of transvestites. I see no problem with him getting tarted up, and he is actually quite attractive, though he's not a pretty lady. Here he talks about some distinctions which-- although a completely different issue than Manning's revelation-- shape public perception in a way that skews from the (for lack of a better term) norm.