Bradley Manning wants to live as a woman named Chelsea and begin hormone treatment as soon as possible, the soldier said a day after being sentenced to 35 years in prison for giving government secrets to WikiLeaks.
Manning announced the decision Thursday in a statement provided to NBC’s “Today” show.
“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible,” the statement read.
The statement asked people to use the feminine pronoun when referring to Manning. It was signed Chelsea E. Manning.
Manning received the stiffest punishment ever handed out in the U.S. for leaking information to the media. With good behavior and credit for more than three years of time served, Manning could be out in as little as seven years, the soldier’s attorney David Coombs said.
Coombs told “Today” he hoped officials at the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., will accommodate Manning’s request for hormone treatment. If they don’t, Coombs said he would do “everything in my power” to make it happen.
The Army said it doesn’t provide the treatment or sex-reassignment surgery.