WikiLeaker Bradley Manning: I’m Chelsea Now
Bradly Manning, the Army private sentenced to 35 years for leaking classified U.S. documents to the website WikiLeaks, has revealed she identifies as female and intends to live out the remainder of her life as a woman.
“I am Chelsea Manning. I am female,” Manning wrote in a statement read by her civilian attorney David Coombs on the TODAY show Thursday. “Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition.”
“I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility),” continued the statement, signed by Chelsea E. Manning.
Though Fort Leavenworth, the prison where Manning will serve out her sentence, does not offer hormone therapy, Coombs will fight to help his client can receive the medical treatment she desires during her time behind bars. Manning has not, as of yet, made mention of sex reassignment surgery, according to Coombs.
Manning, 25, was sentenced to 35 years in military prison on Wednesday after being found guilty of 20 charges — ranging from disobeying orders, to espionage, to theft — for leaking more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks while working in Iraq in 2010, which is considered the biggest breach of classified information in U.S. history.
During the trial, Manning’s defense team discussed her gender identity struggle and plight as a gay soldier in the military. Her attorneys presented an email to a former supervisor from April 2010 with the subject line “My Problem,” in which Manning said she was transgender and included a photo of herself in a blonde wig and lipstick.