Now that Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years, he has asked in a letter to begin hormone therapy and begin living as a woman named Chelsea. “As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible,” the statement read. Manning’s defense attorney David Coombs hopes that officials at the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas prison will accommodate Manning’s request for hormone therapy. “If Fort Leavenworth does not, then I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure they are forced to do so,” Coombs said.
According to Rolling Stone Manning has been battling with his gender identity for quite some time and it was really triggered by his enlistment into the army: “Haunted by fears that he wasn’t ‘masculine enough,’ as he told a friend, he began to question his gender. On leave in the U.S. during the snowy winter of 2010, he spent a few days dressed as a woman. He called his female alter ego ‘Breanna.'” [CBS]