“I am Chelsea Manning, I am female.”
With those words the soldier convicted of providing huge volumes of classified materials to Wikileaks announced he will live out his life as a woman.
“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,” Manning explained in a statement read on NBC’s Today Show.
Manning is likely to serve his sentence at Fort Leavenworth, prison in Kansas because it's the only military prison for service members who are sentenced to 10 or more years.
A military spokesperson told The Associated Press the facility doesn’t provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery for gender identity issues.
Manning's attorney David Coombs told Today "If Fort Leavenworth does not, then I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure they are forced to do so."
The prison does offer psychiatric care according to a Fort Leavenworth spokeswoman.
The next question, which gender will Manning spend his/her sentence with?
United States prison system rules say transgender prisoners will be housed with birth sex inmates if they have not undergone genital surgery.
The policy for military prisoners is not clear.
Manning signed the statement “Chelsea E. Manning.”