In what was the most unsurprising announcement of the year, Bradley Manning’s lawyer revealed Thursday on NBC’s “Today Show” that his client would now like to live as a woman, and be referred to as Chelsea Manning going forward.
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.
Chelsea E. Manning
ThinkProgress compiled the “seven most ignorant reactions” — which were hardly unexpected — to Manning’s admission of being transgender:
Which came first: Bradley Manning's treason, or his insanity?—
Adam Baldwin (@AdamBaldwin) August 22, 2013
If Manning still has all male body parts, and his name is legally Bradley, isn't it factually inaccurate for a journalist to call him "her"?—
Timothy P Carney (@TPCarney) August 22, 2013
[insert Corporal Klinger joke about Bradley Manning here]—
(@jimgeraghty) August 22, 2013
Traitor Bradley Manning plans to live as a woman named Chelsea. Miss Manning will now be able to use the restroom of her choice in CA—
(@toddstarnes) August 22, 2013
Big question is how a nut like Bradley Manning ever got close to the information he leaked.—
Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) August 22, 2013