The Army private sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the WikiLeaks website wants to live those years as a woman.
Private Bradley Manning wants the world to know him as “Chelsea” from now on.
“As a transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female,” Manning wrote in, according to a statement read on the “Today” show Thursday.
“I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.”
There’s a snag, though.
Manning, 25, will be eligible for parole in seven years, according to the Washington Post.
The Army prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he is expected to serve until then, doesn’t offer hormone therapy for transsexuals. His attorney, David Coombs, said he plans to launch a court fight to get Manning hormone treatment.
Manning’s sexuality has been an undercurrent of the case almost from the beginning, with some reports and chats between Manning and a fellow hacker suggesting his decision to leak the documents stemmed in part from his struggles with being homosexual in the military environment.
Meanwhile, Coombs has also said he plans to ask President Obama to pardon Manning. In response to a question at a news briefing Wednesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said a Manning pardon request would be reviewed like any other.
Watch Coombs’ “Today” show interview here.