Army private sentenced to 35 years for leaking classified material wants to begin hormone therapy; Army says no.
Manning announced the decision in a written statement provided to NBC's "Today" show, asking supporters to refer to him by his new name and the feminine pronoun. The statement was signed "Chelsea E. Manning."
"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," the statement read.
Manning's defense attorney David Coombs told "Today" in an interview that he is hoping officials at the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., will accommodate Manning's request for hormone therapy.
"If Fort Leavenworth does not, then I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure they are forced to do so," Coombs said.
In a statement, the Army said it "does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery for gender identity disorder."
Coombs did not respond to phone and email messages from The Associated Press on Thursday.
Manning's struggle with gender identity disorder -- the sense of being a woman trapped in a man's body -- was key to the defense.