Bradley Manning told the Today Show via a letter
that he plans to eventually get hormone therapyand live as a woman.
Manning’s sexuality and gender identity came up frequently during the WikiLeaks trial.
During his trial, Manning’s defence team suggested his struggles with gender identity as a gay soldier were a factor in his decision to leak. His attorneys presented an email to a former supervisor from April 2010 in which he said he was transgender and joined the Army to “get rid of it.”
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 defence 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
Chat logs — uncovered by Wired years ago — between Manning and hacker Adrian Lamo revealed that Manning suffered at the hands of an alocoholic father, references to the website Queerty, and hints at his transgender identity.
Then BoingBoing published a little more of the logs, and allegedly outed Manning.
From the chat logs [emphasis ours]:
(1:11:54 PM) bradass87: and… its important that it gets out… i feel, for some bizarre reason
(1:12:02 PM) bradass87: it might actually change something
(1:13:10 PM) bradass87: i just… dont wish to be a part of it… at least not now… im not ready… i wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me… plastered all over the world press… as boy…
(1:14:11 PM) bradass87: i’ve totally lost my mind… i make no sense… the CPU is not made for this motherboard…
(1:14:42 PM) bradass87: s/as boy/as a boy
(1:30:32 PM) bradass87: >sigh<
(1:31:40 PM) bradass87: i just wanted enough time to figure myself out… to be myself… and be running around all the time, trying to meet someone else’s expectations
(1:32:01 PM) bradass87: *and not be
(1:33:03 PM) bradass87: im just kind of drifting now…
(1:34:11 PM) bradass87: waiting to redeploy to the US, be discharged… and figure out how on earth im going to transition
(1:34:45 PM) bradass87: all while witnessing the world freak out as its most intimate secrets are revealed
(1:35:06 PM) bradass87: its such an awkward place to be in, emotionally and psychologically
Manning joins another recent high-profile military gender reassignment; Kristin Beck was a member of the most elite special operations unit in the world — SEAL Team 6.
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