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 show.

“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. Visit our video library for more videos.)

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, wrote that Manning “deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”

“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.