Bradley Manning To Transition To A Woman: “I Am Chelsea, I Am A Female”

bradley-chelsea-manningBradley Manning, the 25-year-old Army soldier sentenced to 35 years for leaking 700,000 confidential government documents, will transition to being female and will go by the name Chelsea.

Manning made the announcement in a statement to the Today show:

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.

Thank you,

Chelsea E. Manning

Manning’s gender identity disorder had been a central part of her defense, as she had hoped joining the military would in effect “cure” her. Previously, a photo of Manning dressed as a woman that she had sent to her superiors — illustrating what she deemed “my problem” — found its way onto the internet.

“The stress that he was under was mostly to give context to what was going on at the time,” Manning’s lawyer, David Coombes, told Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Thursday. “It was never an excuse because that’s not what drove his actions. What drove his actions was a strong moral compass.”

Coombes said he is “hoping” that Fort Leavenworth — where Manning is expected to serve her term — “would do the right thing” and provide her hormone therapy.

“If Fort Leavenworth does not,” Coombes vowed, “then I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure they are forced to do so.”

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  • liquidskyny

    so the taxpayers have to foot the bill for this? ridiculous

  • ScaryRussianHeather

    She forgot to thank the taxpayer who will apparently be generously funding her transition.

  • Sumidagawa

    @liquidskyny But, on the other hand, you’re fine with the tax bill for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? Disgusting.

  • Sumidagawa

    Just to be clear, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have cost the US about $180m per hour since 2001.

  • Jessie R

    @liquidskyny: In the same way that we would foot the bill if she needed her appendix removed, or needed any other medically necessary treatment. Unless you think you know better how to determine whether a treatment is medically necessary than the AMA, the APA, WPATH, and a myrad of other medical and psychological associations.

  • tazz602

    Like a gay panic defense it all seems way too convenient and just does not ring true. I am not making light of any true trans person, but to bring this up as part of your defense for being a traitor seems to be a slap in the face to the entire trans community. So is he saying he broke his oath as a soldier because he could not handle his feelings of being the wrong sex?? If I were a trans person I would be offended at the implication.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Would she transfer to a women’s prison or be isolated, to prevent violence from other inmates?

  • Dakotahgeo

    @ScaryRussianHeather: She (Chelsea) thanked everyone who has supported her in any way, in case you don’t recognize gratitude. Absolutely all the best to Ms. Chelsea Manning in her future. Fortunately she is young and will be ><35 when she is released from prison, more than enough time to start life afresh and by that time, she may well be pardoned by a forward-thinking President.
    Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

  • 2eo

    You should be given a medal of honour Chelsea. Exposing lies and mass murder should be applauded, instead the lesser people of our allied nations think you a traitor.

  • sportsguy1983


  • sfbeast

    As a gay man, this whole thing just makes me cringe. Not only because he is personifying so much of what haters already think. But primarily because he is a traitor. Why couldn’t he do the whole gay gender confusion thing without leaking classified information?

  • liquidskyny


    never said that actually…

  • Zed Paul

    I don’t have an opinion on what he did but you have to admit she is very cute.

  • TampaBayTed

    There has been a lot of attention to the transgendered in the news lately. But nowhere have I been able to locate any statistics about the frequency transgendered persons in the general population. Anyone have a reliable source?

  • Matt1961

    I like how the comments here morphed from being about the absurd issue of a traitor getting a tax payer funded gender change to the war on terror and Iraq. This soldier took an oath, broke his word, disgraced himself claiming ‘moral compass’ and blamed it all on his gender identity? 35 years is not nearly long enough to make up for this ridiculous act. For those of you that want to turn his idiotic rationale into some sort of political call to action, go for it, but I don’t buy any of that BS. Just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I can’t be patriotic or supportive of our armed forces. He did wrong, he got a slap on the wrist in my estimation, and I don’t want to pay for his gender reassignment process.

  • DBBromberg

    This is total bullshit, first he got 35 years not 25 for being a true patriot, the rest is unbelieveable bullshit, total fabrication by a irresponsible journalist.

  • Kieran

    The brutal mistreatment of Bradley at the hands of the government no doubt exacerbated his mental health problems. Being kept naked in his cell, watched 24 hours in a tiny, brightly lit cell, solitary confinement….barbaric. How would anybody fare under those circumstances?

  • Rockery

    He looks kind of like Britney Spears

    and he is crazy like her too

  • alterego1980

    @tazz602: I can’t speak for any trans people because I am not in that situation, but I had a college professor who transitioned while I was at school and she, like most trans people do not break the law as a result of their emotional and physical changes. I don’t think this letter specifically tries the two together but I agree that the timing and the use of his trans issues has been part of a sympathy campaign. It’s a thin line to walk and like you, I am not sure if trans people would appreciate using those issues as a pity story for breaking the law.

  • Rockery

    @Jessie R:

    I doubt he is really transgendered though, he has had many issues and outbursts and mental health issues. Being trans is not a mental illness, I think he should have a full examination before he does something he regrets.

  • [email protected]

    This bitch is on dog food if she[ I use this loosely]think we should pay to cut off her dick.

  • mwalsh

    Whatever the story is with Brad’s Gender, I think he is one of the great role models for every young person. Without people like him this country is doomed. He has the support of the rest of the world inn defying Obama’s War criminality. This had to be made evident to everyone. The disgusting fact is that this would be like Vietnam except that American citizens don’t care any more about this disgrace. He showed bad judgement in bringing a personal issue to complicate the issue. He needs to deal with it but not now. It will interfer with what many people think.hat is unwise, he did a great think as it was.and would have gone down in history as a hero.

  • Red Meat


  • Marjorie 0120

    I agree 100%, being trans doesn’t have a damned thing to do with portraying your country’s faith in you and breaking an oath you took of your own free will. I’m ashamed that he’s making this an issue, it’s an insult to gays in the military and gays in general. It screams that his sexual issues made him untrustworthy and willing to sell out America to the highest bidder. Not an image to be proud of. I’m sure he was paid enough for the secrets he sold to pay for several transgender surgeries, hope they accidently sew another penis or two on him. Shame on him! Blaming his cowardly acts of portrayal on his sexual identity, really?.

  • DM

    @mwalsh: Prestige? That is not a good look period. The fact that he could have placed other people in harm’s way is not PRESTIGIOUS at all! You have got to be kidding. He joined to serve and maintain his military bearing and he did not do what he was enlisted for. He deserves more time in the slammer and the taxpayer should not pay for his preferences. BTW- I am prior military too as are many in my family. We DO NOT feel sorry for him!

  • DM

    @Marjorie 0120: I totally agree with your statement!

  • ScaryRussianHeather

    @Dakotahgeo: “She (Chelsea) thanked everyone who has supported her in any way, in case you don’t recognize gratitude.”

    I recognize gratitude. In case you don’t recognize grammar, Ms. Manning used past tense. Then she added the additional clarification of “over the past three years”.

    The quote is:

    “I want to thank everybody who has supported me over the last three years.”

    Why do you Liberals always have to CHANGE facts to claim you’re right.

    So you conflating THAT statement with some future possibility of the government yet again confiscating citizens’ hard earned income is not even a stretch but typical magical thinking.

    Moreover, shame on Manning for the negative image of the LGB and especially T community being plastered all over the media right now.

  • Lpadams

    As a gay man and veteran it’s too simple. This man is a traitor, why does he even make a headline here? Does every Transgendered person deserve to be a headline. Queerty get real!

  • Teleny

    I really have not followed what Chelsea did to get imprisioned, but I can say as someone whose been there, your thought process suffers when that issue bubbles to the surface. I was transitioning in grad school and my dissertation suffered. Also most Tranz start some sort of her before doing it officially and you are leading a double life. It really is a stressful time. Nevertheless I wish she had done it a bit less publicly.

  • vklortho

    I’m an army veteran and I think she is a hero. Also can anyone point out where she explicitly said she did what she did because she was trans?

  • Faggot

    The transphobia contained in these comments is alarming. I don’t know who lumped the T on the LGBT abbreviation, but apparently the Gs still have a hard time with the Ts. Heck, most Gs have a hard time with the Ls! Let’s not even talk about the Bs. (And I hear the Is have begun to get lumped in with this everything but heterosexual tag. Oy!)

  • sharp20

    Manning is an embarrassment to the military and also to the LGBT Community. He put soldiers in harms way with being a traitor. I have been deployed 4 times to many. But I serve with honor and pride unlike him. There is no way I could call Manning a she. The tax payers do not need to pay for him to become a her. I have no issues with anyone wanting to change but when it cost money from the tax payers that is not right for them. If you don’t like what I have to say that is fine say what you want to say. But I fight for this right to say what I want when I can. As for HIM saying he joined for the Army to be fixed is the wrong answer. We are not baby sitters. We are here to train and lead these soldiers to become leaders. Last time I checked the Army does not allow Transgenders in the ranks.

  • sharp20

    @Marjorie 0120: I agree with what you are saying.

  • 2eo

    @Faggot: There is a part of me that is very sad that at 28 I already know far more about the world than a massive section of my own community combined.

    A lot of the comments are embarrassing, and I feel ashamed they’re part of our community, sharp20, Lpadams, DM and sadly quite a few others. It’s no surprise that their lack of information is complimented absolutely by severe Transphobia, after all they’re not clever enough to objectively look at reality.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @sharp20: On the contrary, Transgenders ARE allowed in the military at this point… as well they should be. You military faux patriots need to take a deep breath… and retire. They are neither valuable to our country, our military, nor life!

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Dakotahgeo: Correction: Your type are neither valuable to our country, our military, nor life in general!

  • DM

    @2eo: I am stating that he has placed people in harm’s way which is true. He has definitely acted as a “traitor” and should be treated as such per the UCMJ. Honestly, It doesn’t bother me that my comment embarrassed you. He is coming off as unstable which is not a fabulous look for anyone that is trying to “expose” everyone to his perceived truth. I could care less that he wants to be transgendered because his sexuality has nothing to do with his behavior. I know people that are like him and have NEVER placed anyone in harm’s way. Why should he get a pass on causing a problem?

  • sharp20

    @Dakotahgeo: Can you show me what DOD or Army Reg that says that Transgenders are allowed in the military? Also can you show me where it says that the Soldier does not have to pay but the tax payers have to pay for them to be Transgenders???? I don’t have an issue with someone that wants to be a Transgendered. As for me retiring that is not going to happen for a long time yet. Me and my fellow brothers and sisters in arms are very valuable to our country, our military, and are way of life. Also if
    you try to come in after having a sex change they will NOT let you in. Please educate yourself before you speak. Yes I know were it states that you can not come into the military.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @ScaryRussianHeather: No. 29: I am supportive of Ms. Manning. Whatever you’re whining about doesn’t concern me.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @sharp20: I know transgenders who are in the military! Obviously you are a know-it-all military person. Brush up on your Spell Check and Grammar Check before you comment. You are not a very good example of “Intelligent Military Personnel.” Sorry for you. Now get to work defending our country instead of hiding behind internet comments. Your taxes are paying for MY retirement, sonny! And I thank you! (Unnnngh!!!)

  • sharp20

    No I am not a know it all military person. I just love being educated or learning new things but you think I’m know it all so therefore I’m really not. As for my spelling and gammer who cares that does mean I can’t do my job 100%. Ill get to work when its time to be there. Your not my boss. Also I am not your sonny!! Plus I don’t hide behind my comments. All I was asked was to show me the regulation or the Department of Defense directives. Which you must not know what that is.

  • Kenny1948

    I have been a firm supporter of this hero. Yes I say HERO, because Bradley Manning obeyed his conscience, not the military! He revealed the horrors perpetrated by our government in the mideast. Had soldiers in the Third Reich, obeyed their conscience rather than “orders”, the world may not have had a Holocaust. Bradley Manning, or whoever he thinks he is, should be awarded the Medal of Honor, for his patriotism!

  • Jessie R

    Actually, trans people still aren’t allowed in the military here in the US. If you come out or are found out, they’ll kick you out, and if you’re post-transition, they won’t take you.

  • tdx3fan

    @Dakotahgeo: Presidents do not pardon traitors. Also, she will not get out of jail for the next 35 years (if she lives that long). Prison is a very rough place for traitors. Add her status as transgendered to the mix in either a female or male prison (it does not matter) then it gets even harder. Add to that the fact that the guards will have it in for her just as much as the inmates and Miss Manning becomes even more doomed.

    You should have to spend 24 hours with the widow of a military member that was put in even more danger because of the actions of this self-important individual who just wanted to get her 15 minutes of fame.

    Oh, and I know that Cheney and Bush conspired to get us into this war. I am all for trying them as well, but that will never happen. I am not for using that lack of trial as an excuse to forgive Miss Manning.

  • tdx3fan

    @Teleny: With all due respect… There is a HUGE leap from your dissertation suffering to endangering the lives of tens of thousands of men and women serving in the military.

  • tdx3fan

    @Faggot: Alright, lets separate the Ls the Gs and the Bs from the T. If we did that, we would already have sweeping hate crime laws, non-discrimination policies and probably gay marriage in this nation. Lets be honest, the T gets much more hate and the rest of us, and the hard working men and women that have refused to abandon their transgendered brothers and sisters are the only real reason you have any rights at all.

  • BlogZilla

    What a mental case, He belong in a koo-koo house, not a prison.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @sharp20: Re: No. 43: Ahhhhh, oh yes I am your boss, “Sonny.” I pay taxes, taxes pay your salary… but that’s beside the point. Because I know there are transgenders in the military, I don’t care what the DOD or Army “Regs” say!
    Oh, and one other little fact… I “used” to pay taxes. I set up my retirement so I had just enough to live on and a low enough income to do it. Hence, no taxes to support war. Our church (The Mennonite Church is a peace and justice denomination) does not discriminate against anyone. All are welcome. Look for me at peace and justice events throughout the mid-state areas! :-)

  • Dakotahgeo

    @tdx3fan: LOLOL… Presidents DO pardon traitors! History is full of them. It may take a few decades time but eventually most are cleared. Betting odds are, Ms. Manning will be out of prison in 7-9 years and have more than enough time to be beneficial to this society and country with a nice retirement ahead of him. The USA is getting more and more forgiving, i.e., the huge following that Ms. Manning has. Even the Judge could have been much tougher in his sentencing but chose not to. Sooo, in essence, I and thousands support Ms. manning and look forward to her early release as a HERO! Do have a nice day!

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Dakotahgeo: I should clarify “taxes”: I pay all regular taxes, just not income tax. Should I buy a new car or television, sales tax would apply, of course. Just wanted to “clarify” that for you!

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Kenny1948: (No. 44) Here, here! I absolutely agree. Ms. Manning will be regarded as a Hero, in time… in time. If we followed our consciences more often, there would be less war. However, since some countries’ governments can only run on wartime economies, some will have to continue to listen Herr Militar!! Sieg Heil, Whoever!

  • sharp20

    @Dakotahgeo: You are so funny. You don’t even know how to look up info and the info right before you speak. That is OK. I will gladly educate you. I pay my taxes as well but that still does not make you my boss. See I didn’t vote for you sorry you lost.

    Also Trans can not come into the military per the “REGS”. If they have the surgery before coming in they can not get the approved the surgery requirements. They can how ever have a sex change while being in at their own cost. They will not kick you out for doing that BUT they will not pay for it. SO MR. Mannning will have to save up what money he does or does not have. In order to pay for it. I am sure he was paid well for what he did.

    I had a soldier that was Trans and it did not bother me in anyway. As long as you come to work and do your job who cares what you have or don’t have down there.

  • sharp20

    @Jessie R: They changed that. I talked to are legal office today and they are allowed to be in just can not join. So they can have the surgery while being in just not before.

  • FairyQing

    comments are disgusting.

    being gay is also illegal in many countries and was so in US, so what?

    The biggest crimes in human history are committed by governments and where fully legal by their laws. Burning Jews in holocaust was legal, and slavery was legal in this country.

    SO WHAT?!

    Some people MURDERED innocents all over the world.
    Some people in US government make senseless wars, steal taxpayer money, kill civilians, break the constitution(YES, only 5 wars in US history were legally declared and latest wars are not on the list), take over other countries like some barbarians and give oil and natural resources to their friends.
    And here comes Manning and exposes a portion of these crimes. And some absolutely stupid people consider him a traitor. For exposing government crimes to people. A treason that didn’t endanger ANY american soldier. Only some big bros power.

    Well surprise guys. Afghanistan was a secular democratic country with women walking in normal clothes and cinemas and schools and it was USA that started a religious revolution and actually brought taliban to the rule. Now you dare complaining that these people hate america?! Of course they do, you destroyed all they loved.
    Afghanistan, Iran(formerly Persia), Iraq were all secular and civilized countries before big USA and big Soviet Union burned all that people created and loved.

    So please STFU because the only person in US military that didnt betray the constitution of the United States is Bradley Manning/Chlesea Manning. Because founding fathers never intended this country to be a colonial empire.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @ScaryRussianHeather: Re: No. 29: Sorry, you are wrong… and your point is? Your main problem is that you may be intelligent but basically, you are dumb! You don’t know how to use your intelligence. That’s why “Liberals” will always be miles ahead of your kind. Now don’t waste my time and do have a nice weekend!

  • Dakotahgeo

    @FairyQing: Sadly, you are spot on the mark! As a history major and foreign policy student in college, I read first hand some of the American atrocities across the globe… not pretty!
    It IS interesting to note that the USA has not been off a wartime budget since WWII! That does not say a whole for our economic system either, much less our morals and values.

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