Bradley Manning, former US military soldier, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified documents, has claimed that he is a female and wants to live as a woman named Chelsea.
Manning, 25, gave a statement to NBC news in which he stated that he is transitioning to a new phase of his life and he wants everyone to know his real identity.
However, due to his conviction, it is unclear whether he will undergo gender reassignment surgery or not, but he hopes to begin hormone therapy in prison.
He further said that he has felt this way since his childhood and that he wants to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.
David Coombs, Manning’s lawyer, said on the show that he expected Manning to get a pardon from the President Barack Obama.
He also presented an email sent by Manning to a former supervisor in April 2010 in which he claimed that he was a transgender and he joined army to get rid of it.
Manning was sentenced on Wednesday for turning over 700,000 classified files, battlefield videos and diplomatic cables to Wiki-Leaks leading to the biggest breach of secret data in nation’s history.
Manning’s attorney described him as an idealist who opposed the war in Iraq. Manning supporters consider him a whistle blower whose leak served public interests. However, the government has referred him as a traitor.
Manning is expected to serve the sentence at the U.S Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Coombs said that the soldier could be pardoned in seven years.