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    Bradley Manning Seeks Gender Change, Wants to Be Called Chelsea

    Bradley Manning Mark Wilson/Getty Images

    Bradley Manning is looking to make a change.

    Just one day after being sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, the U.S. Army soldier has revealed his desire to be a woman.

    "I am Chelsea Manning. I am female," Manning said in a statement read by his attorney on Thursday's Today show. "Given the way 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."

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    Manning, 25, added, "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."

    Meanwhile, the U.S. Army released a statement on Thursday in response to Manning's decision to seek hormone therapy, NBC News reports.

    "Inmates at the United States Disciplinary Barracks and Joint Correctional Facility are treated equally regardless of race, rank, ethnicity or sexual orientation," read the statement. "All inmates are considered soldiers and are treated as such with access to mental health professionals, including a psychiatrist, psychologist, social workers and behavioral science noncommissioned officers with experience in addressing the needs of military personnel in pre- and post-trial confinement.

    "The Army does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery for gender identity disorder. The USDB has implemented risk assessment protocols and safety procedures to address high risk factors identified with the Prison Rape Elimination Act."

    Manning was convicted last month on multiple charges of espionage, theft and fraud and originally faced up to 90 years in prison.

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