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"I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female."

The former US Army private has issued a statement to a US TV programme asking to be henceforth known as Chelsea Manning.

Army private Bradley Manning is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade Maryland yesterday.
Army private Bradley Manning is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade Maryland yesterday.
Image: Patrick Semansky/AP/Press Association Images

Updated 14:30

BRADLEY MANNING WANTS to begin living life as a woman and hopes to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.

The former US Army private, who was yesterday sentenced to 35 years in a military prison for leaking classified information, issued a statement this morning asking to be henceforth known as Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.

The statement was released to the ‘Today Show’ on US network NBC with Manning saying that the “letters of support and encouragement have helped keep me strong”.

Manning also gave details of a lifetime gender struggle:

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. 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).

During the trial, Manning’s lawyers told the court of their client’s struggles with gender, arguing that these problems had formed part of the reasons for releasing the classified data.

Manning’s lawyer David Coomes told NBC that he is “hoping” that the Fort Leavenworth prison “would do the right thing” and provide hormone therapy for the inmate. “If Fort Leavenworth does not, then I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure they are forced to do so,” he added.

In response it has been reported that the US Army has said that it does not provide the therapy that Manning hopes to receive. NBC News tweeted a response it had received from the US military:

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Read: A ‘Free Bradley Manning’ protest to be held at US Embassy, Dublin >

Read: Bradley Manning takes to stand apologising for hurting US >

Column: Bradley Manning broke the law, but he placed more value on morality than legality >

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Rónán Duffy

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