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NBC’s Today scored a second big news story Thursday morning, revealing that Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning wants to live as a woman named Chelsea.
The NBC morning show had already landed the first interview with San Diego kidnapping victim Hannah Anderson.
Manning’s news was delivered via his lawyer David Coombs, who spoke to host Savannah Guthrie.
STORY: Hollywood Reacts to Bradley Manning Sentencing on Social Media
Coombs said Manning plans to begin hormone therapy.
The Army analyst was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks. His struggle with gender identity disorder, feeling that he was a woman trapped in a man’s body, was a key part of his defense.
Manning’s full statement, as posted on the Today website, is below.
Subject: The Next Stage of My Life
I want to thank everybody who has supported me over the last three years. Throughout this long ordeal, your letters of support and encouragement have helped keep me strong. I am forever indebted to those who wrote to me, made a donation to my defense fund, or came to watch a portion of the trial. I would especially like to thank Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network for their tireless efforts in raising awareness for my case and providing for my legal representation.
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.
Chelsea E. Manning
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