Manning says he wants to live as a woman

Jailed US soldier announces plans to live as a woman named Chelsea and wants to begin hormone therapy.

Last Modified: 22 Aug 2013 16:09
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Military court sentenced Manning to 35 years in jail for handing secret documents to WikiLeaks [AP]

Bradley Manning, the US soldier sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking secret documents, has said he considers himself to be a woman.

"As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me," the 25-year-old said in a written statement provided to NBC channel.

"I also request that starting today you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun, I am Chelsea Manning.

"Given the way I feel and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible," the statement said.

Dishonourably discharged

On Wednesday, a military court sentenced Manning for handing secret government documents to WikiLeaks, resulting in the US' biggest-ever security breach.

I request that starting today you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun, I am Chelsea Manning

Bradley Manning

Manning leaked about 700,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and US State Department diplomatic cables in 2010 while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. He also leaked video of a US helicopter attack in Baghdad in which at least nine people were killed, including a Reuters news photographer.

According to the court ruling, Manning would be demoted to private, from private first class, and dishonourably discharged from the US military.

Manning will be imprisoned at the US Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Manning's defence attorney David Coombs told NBC he is hoping officials at the military prison will accommodate Manning's request for hormone therapy.

If not, "I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure they are forced to do so," Coombs said.

The army said it does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery.

"All inmates are considered soldiers and are treated as such with access to mental health professionals, including a psychiatrist, psychologist, social workers and behavioural science noncommissioned officers," army spokesman George Wright said.


Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.