Pfc. Manning's attorney David Coombs went on the Today Show this morning to present a letter formally requesting that media use the name Chelsea Manning and use feminine pronouns, when referring to his client.
“I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way I have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible," the letter reads (and you can hear the whole thing in the video above). Fort Leavenworth, the military prison where Manning has been sentenced to 35 years, is a male prison (following the usual penal protocol of imprisoning people based on their birth sex unless they have already undergone surgery) and does not normally provide hormone therapy. However, Coombs said he will fight to provide access to hormonal treatment as a priority, as he and Manning have not yet discussed gender reassignment surgery.
Though her self-identification as a transgender woman has been known for some time, this is the most extensive statement Manning has made to the media yet. However, a variety of sources, including leaked recordings and statements made by a gender counselor who had previously spoken with Manning in 2009, have previously noted her gender preference. During her trial, the defense introduced a photo of Manning in a wig and lipstick, and also noted the feelings of isolation and discrimination Manning may have faced in a military environment. (MSNBC)
Photo: Via MSNBC.