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Convicted security leaker Bradley Manning seeks to transition as woman

CNN reports that convicted leaker Bradley Manning says he wants to transition as a woman and live his life as Chelsea, not Bradley:

WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning intends to begin hormone therapy for gender reassignment and live the rest of his life as a woman, according to a statement from him read on NBC’s “Today” show Thursday. Manning wants to be referred to as Chelsea — not Bradley — according to the statement. Manning’s announcement comes a day after a military judge sentenced him to 35 years in prison for leaking hundreds of thousands of U.S. military and diplomatic documents.

You can read Manning’s letter at Politico:

“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). I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back.”

Manning’s lawyer says he intends to fight to ensure that Fort Leavenworth, where Manning is expected to serve the sentence, provides the treatment.

Sentenced to 35 years in prison (although he will be eligible for parole in 7 years), Manning plans to petition President Obama for a pardon:

Bradley Manning will send a personal plea to Barack Obama next week for a presidential pardon after he was sentenced on Wednesday to 35 years in prison for passing hundreds of thousands of classified military documents to WikiLeaks. “When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love to my country and a sense of duty to others,” Manning will tell Obama. “If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society.”