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chelseamanningUntil now, we’ve known her as Bradley Manning, the ex-soldier who famously released confidential military documents to WikiLeaks and got into a lot of trouble for doing so.

She’s been sentenced to 35 years in a military prison, and has now spoken up about her need to gender transition and live from now on as Chelsea Manning.


“I am Chelsea Manning, I am a female,” she now says. “As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me.

“Given the way I feel and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I also request that starting today you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun.”

The statement was read out on NBC News’ Today show. There are no fears for the 25-year-old’s safety in jail and she has expressed no desire to join an all-women’s prison.

US military spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Todd Breasseale says the army acknowledges Manning “openly identifies as female,” but unfortunately adds that “There is no mechanism in place for the US military to provide hormone therapy or gender-reassignment surgery for her.”

Many are surprised at the news of Manning’s transition today, but the ex-soldier’s concerns about her gender were brought up at her trial in late 2011, when it was publicly revealed that she approached her superior officers about gender identity disorder.

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