In a statement read on Today this morning, the Army private says she will live as a woman from now on. “I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am female,” reads the statement, which is signed Chelsea E. Manning. “Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.” Manning says she wants to be referred to by her new name and by a feminine pronoun, “except in official mail to the confinement facility.”
Manning’s gender identity struggles have been in the news before, most recently during her trial, during which Manning’s defense team shared an email Manning sent to a former supervisor bearing the subject line “My Problem”; it included a picture of Manning in a female wig and lipstick. While these gender identity issues were a stressor, Manning’s lawyer emphasized to Today this morning that “what drove his actions was a strong moral compass.” He adds that he’ll “do everything in my power” to make sure Fort Leavenworth, where Manning will likely serve her 35-year sentence, provides Manning with hormone therapy.
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