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Bradley Manning: I want to live as a woman

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Bradley Manning
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Pfc. Bradley Manning, who yesterday was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, has announced she will be transitioning to female and her new name is Chelsea Manning.

This revelation came about on the Today show this morning, when Savannah Guthrie talked with Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs. After discussing the trial, the sentence (he expects Manning will be out in 7 years), and chances for a presidential pardon, Guthrie read a statement from Manning.

“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me,” it read. “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….I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and the use the feminine pronoun. Thank you, Chelsea Manning.”

After reading the statement, Coombs shared that he hoped Fort Leavenworth (the all-male prison Manning will be incarcerated in) “will do the right thing and provide [hormone therapy, which they currently do not]. If they do not, I’m going to do everything in my power so that they are forced to do so.”

Watch the interview below: