Wikileaks source Army Pfc. Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley
Manning, on Thursday came out transgender.
Manning made her announcement a day after he was sentenced to 35
years in prison.
Manning's lawyer, David Coombs, read a statement on NBC's Today
“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want
everyone to know the real me,” Manning said in the statement. “I
am Chelsea Manning. I am female. 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). I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and
having the opportunity to write back.”
“I think the ultimate goal is to be comfortable in her skin,”
Coombs said on the program, “and to be the person that she's never
had an opportunity to be.” (A CNN report is embedded on this page.
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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights
advocate, wrote that Manning “deserves to be treated with dignity
“What should not be lost is that there are transgender
servicemembers and veterans who serve and have served this nation
with honor, distinction and great sacrifice,” the
group wrote. “We must not forget or dishonor those
individuals. Pvt. Manning's experience is not a proxy for any other
transgender man or woman who wears the uniform of the United States.”
Other outlets were reporting that Manning would request a pardon
from President Barack Obama.