Heroic whistle-blower addresses gender publicly: ready to move on to next phase of her life

fteadesmallThe Army private and WikiLeaks whistle-blower formerly known as Bradley Manning announced, in a statement via lawyer David Coombs, the decision to transition to life as a woman and a request to be referred to as Chelsea and with female pronouns. Her statement is below:

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


Chelsea’s mailing address is now:

Bradley E. Manning
1300 N Warehouse Rd
Ft Leavenworth KS 66027



62 thoughts on “Heroic whistle-blower addresses gender publicly: ready to move on to next phase of her life

  1. Dear Chelsea,

    You have my full support in your new life. I am sorry that the judge didn’t opt to do what I suggested – to grant “time served”! and end the saga created by Bush and company! Bush/Obama walk free while a hero is in prisoned. There is no real justice there! You did what every American I know says was the work of a hero with a conscience! We are proud of what you did – hold your head high and walk proudly! We love you.

    High regards,
    Charles H. Veilleux, Skowhegan, Maine

    • Hear hear!! So far, the outcome shocks the conscience, with the US justice system and US Army tarring themselves up down and sideways. Pvt. Manning, you remain unsoiled and command utmost respect for your conscience and courage to do the right thing.

      Perhaps one day, more righteous minds and hands will guide the US military. Until then, we can only pray.

  2. I understand that her lawyer will be challenging the denial of the proper medical treatment for this condition so she can get access to hormones while in Leavenworth.

    Is the defense fund going to assist with this effort, or do we need to donate to a new fund?

  3. Dear Chelsea,

    It can be difficult to be trans and incarcerated. Sometimes authorities will refuse to place someone with the correct gender and other times other inmates can demonstrate a lack of understanding or even violence. Fortunately, you have many supporters. Please let us know what we can do to be of support.


  4. Welcome, sister Chelsea. You are an honor to your gender, and may we be an honor to you. You’re in our hearts and actions forever.

    • The letter was read on yesterday’s NBC Today show by Pvt. Manning’s attorney. You should be able to find both video and audio for that.

  5. He and her are both in the word “hero”, remember that. You have my thanks, respect and support. Forever a hero <3

  6. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time and I think you are a total hero Chelsea!!!! I have signed the white house petition I hope many millions more people do as well!!

  7. As Starr above stated, you indeed are an honor to our gender. I am proud to have you as a fellow woman who has the courage to resist tyranny. You are an international hero on so many levels. My children will grow up hearing your name Chelsea and know that you stood in the face of multiple types of oppression and corruption, and unhinged you continued to follow your moral compass and defend the world. I am so very very please by your announcement and look forward to hearing from you in the future. May you be pardoned by Obama asap.

  8. Yes, welcome Chelsea! Your brave actions and true service to our country stand in stark contrast to how you have been treated. Please know how many support you!

  9. Chelsea, your courage shames us all. Thank you for your life and your values. I am proud to call you “sister.”

  10. I think the days of terming underlying hidden causes for government programs “conspiracy theories” has burned itself out, especially in light of so many revelations that those truly in power behind the American government, do covertly direct the course of human events .
    That being said, I cannot ignore the timing and obvious inevitable result of Bradley’s gender transition statement, without voicing a strong suspicion that this was orchestrated to discourage any further interest and support for Bradley by the pubic and press.
    The government is aware that it had to send a strong message, hence the 35 year sentence. Yet, they simultaneously knew that such an excessive sentence would create a long term martyr to the cause, and a perpetual source of press and legal follow-up that would keep the pressure on for debate and change regarding such whistleblowers (ala Snowden).
    So, what better way to quash the sentiments of those outraged by his excessive sentencing, than to strike at the subtle sensibilities of his supports, by having Bradley himself become a less than attractive target for our sympathies. Let’s face it, the whole “surprise, I’m now a girl, look at my hair and call me Chelsea” announcement pretty much distances him from our accepted personification of Brady as a modern day founding father/patriot. No offense intended, but it pretty much marks him a misfit in the minds of most, especially when his supporters are rightly focused upon his outrageous sentencing, while Bradley himself claims a bigger interest in his sexual orientation.
    My only curiosity is how they pulled it off? MK-Ultra techniques? Was simple psychology all that was necessary to be used on so confused and tortured a subject. Who knows – but they sure got him prepared to a tee for the day after sentencing – complete with the “defacing” feminine photo. Got to hand it to them, they’re good!
    So I say,…ignore the misdirection. Focus on the issue that his disclosures – although legally wrong – were morally correct, as he had a duty to disobey the laws against such disclosure, where it conflicted with the greater need that was served our National Security interests, by virtue of the the horrific truths he exposed regard weightier injustices.
    Let’s remain focused on that,…and not this “shell” game.

    • No shell-games or government coercion here. Chelsea has been reflecting on and sometimes struggling to come to terms with her gender identity for quite a while now, as evidenced in her online chat logs with folks like Adrian Lamo and Lauren McNamara. Although she did not wish to discuss this aspect of her life publicly during the trial, she’s chosen to share this part of herself now. While we can appreciate that transgender concepts may be new to many supporters who backed Pvt Manning for a variety of reasons these past three years, we celebrate this opportunity to back such a courageous, indomitable person in yet another way, supporting the individual as well as her act of conscience as a whistleblower.

  11. P.S. Although you may not agree with everything I said in my last “comment”, I feel it is important for those of us support Pvt Manning, that my opinion not be censored.

  12. Chelsea you are incredibly brave and deserving of everyone’s gratitude and admiration even if the most don’t know yet… The best decisions are the ones that give us inner peace… These even behind bars set us free.

  13. I too welcome you as my sister, as far as it matters :) I wish you the best of things, freedom as soon as possible, heavy bags of cash from the inevitable book deal, and an easy and painless transition!!

  14. Regarding letter-writing, I just wanted to make sure: does this mean we need to write “Bradley Manning” on the envelope, but it’s okay to refer to her “Chelsea” in the letter? Thanks!

  15. Words fail me. Chelsea you are a brave and beautiful (inside and out) woman and I am in awe of you. I send you love, strength and solidarity xxx

  16. We love you, Chelsea Manning!!!! You are our Shero! Yay for you!!! Thank you for risking your life to bring awareness. Your honesty will bring you great rewards.

  17. Dear Chelsea, You demonstrate your courage even now. Much is still at stake for you, you are risking loosing some support with this revelatoin, just like when you helped us learn of US War Crimes, yet you make the harder choice, the courageous choice. May you have the experiences you are looking for towards being happy. I have known people who have kept things from themselves causing torment to themselves and others. I am glad for you and those dear to you because your living honestly and therefore healthily will make you a beneficial person to be around.


    As much as this may be a surprise to some people; many people still don’t understand gender reassignment, it has to be said:

    You are one of the bravest people I have ever known to exist and a true patriot.

    I for one, salute you.

  19. Chelsea, there have been a lot of people out here for years who have read about your journey and wanted to know you and wanted to support you, wanted to tell our friends to stop calling you ‘Bradley’ and ‘he’ and wanted to stand up for you but we weren’t sure how because all we had to go on were years-old chat logs and other bits and pieces. Some of us were afraid that the years of torture and abuse from the military had beaten you down and destroyed you and that you would never get to have this day. When I read your words ‘women and men created equal’ in your statement yesterday I hoped this was what was coming. Chelsea, this is such a triumph. You have shown that the most powerful government on earth cannot tell you who you are and cannot take this away from you. You will inspire a generation of trans women. I am so proud to call you a sister.

  20. God bless you, Chelsea, for your strong character and sacrifice to the whole world. You are a a real hero in this world…one that our children and grandchildren will look up to.

    Free Chelsea Manning.

  21. Dear Chelsea,

    You are even more of a hero today than you were yesterday. Much, much respect. I quote another individual much more eloquent than I in describing you:

    “At the age of 22, Bradley [Chelsea] Manning has attained a moral stature most people never reach in an entire lifetime. He came to understand the unforgivable brutality and horror of what the U.S. government is doing, and he sought to stop it in any way he could. He wanted to do the right thing, he “wanted people held accountable,” and he wanted to make sure”this didn’t happen again.”

    Forgive the use of male pronouns, but you get the idea. To think of all you’ve been through, even while struggling to claim your real gender identity, is simply inspiring.

    In a world with so few heroes, so many millions who will be born and die without legacy, you will be remembered as one who stood for humanity.

    Know that you will not be forgotten by those of us who honor you and your actions.
    God bless you!

  22. Hi there, Thanks for supplying the postal address for letters.

    Just a query, when the WM3 were imprisoned, they were allowed to have a list of books and art items on an amazon wishlist, which supporters could select from, to send them things. The prisons were a lot happier with post coming from Amazon than random addresses, and of course the list was of sanctioned items.
    Could something like this be set up? I’m concerned that unless one is created, people will make fake ones. And also, I don’t want Manning to get into trouble for volumes of mail turning up with random items included.

  23. Please moderators, my prior comment seems unpublished…? I supported Dan Ellsberg in the Seventies, and Bradley-Chelsea since the first news… Please make a decision?

  24. If we write to her should we avoid any reference to her coming out in correspondence? I don’t want to make a bad situation worse but certainly her captors know what’s going on by now.

    • The outside of the envelope should be addressed to “Bradley Manning,” but this is not necessary for the contents of the letters themselves.

  25. Chelsea, your courage, strength, and wisdom inspire and awe us every day.

    Several of our friends have gone through gender reassignment. It was rough for them while transitioning, but their lives are much happier now. We are so happy for you, and we wish you the best. You have all our support.

  26. Chelsea, I think your announcement was a mistake. The news coverage comments are now 95% against and they used to be 75% in favor of you. Your supporters are flummoxed, and the pro-government jerks are crudely celebrating. Becoming female is a personal decision, none of our business. I suppose you have to be who you are, but the timing was bad. Please keep reminding us of the real issues. Let your military secrets releases be based on your morality, not a hissy fit.

  27. We support you no matter what gender, race, sexuality, religion, etc you are! I’m glad and proud that you are being true to yourself. I will be writing to you. Thank you for all that you have done!

  28. i will be snail mailing you very soon, sister! you are a role model, as a revealer and lover of truth, personal, societal and universal.
    my 10 year old transgender daughter has one more awesome person to look up to!

  29. I’m willing to promote a fund to pay for your transition.

    Thank you for being the woman you are. May I be such a woman.

  30. Nobel Prize goes to you. We stand in awe of your powerful presence. Guts, fortitude and resolve.
    When Chelsea gets the ball rolling just try to stop it…you will see the ripple effect of your actions infinitely more profound than those who are corrupt and bereft of morality and insight.
    Your monumental decision to pull aside the green curtain, you allowed us all take the RED PILL for a moment. Morpheus would be proud.

    Soldier on dearest soldier.
    - Shink

  31. Just so people know, we plan to change our website and all of our materials over the next week to reflect Pvt. Manning’s request. We are communicating with Pvt. Manning and her attorney about their ideas for the website as well, to ensure we make the best choices possible. Thank you for your support.

    -Emma Cape, Campaign Organizer

  32. He chose a bad time to do this.
    Now that his name has finally become known around the world, he wants to change it?
    It will make it much more difficult to continue to grow support for him.
    To be honest, this sudden name change combined with the the sudden statement that he ‘hurt people and hurt the United Sates’ is very suspicious to me.

  33. You go Girl!! We are truly honoring you and your choices. You are our hero and inspire-or, not matter how you look! I wish every day that you’ll be free, and I truly believe you will be. Your life is helping us all in many ways and shifting humanity into a beautiful happy future ! Rock on Chelsea xx We adore you xx

  34. Chelsea,

    You are my one and only hero, outside of fiction.

    I can’t even begin to understand what it must be like to be imprisoned and trans*.
    But I very well understand what it is to be Trans*

    I wish you a swift journey out of that cell, and I want you to know how much you are needed. And how much you are loved.

    You will forever be welcome on Australian shores, and in my home.

    The ideals that you have fought for will forever inspire me.


  35. Chelsea, i don’t like that name, but it s yours now! never allow their hate to get Inside ur head. U r free to be what u want, they re not!

  36. Dear Ms. Manning,

    You are a true inspiration, and to me you continue to be that with every action you take. Your bravery before diversity is something this nation desperately needs, and I hope that you become the beacon others need to follow your example. Keep up the fight, and we are behind you. This injustice will some day be righted.

  37. Dear Chelsea,
    You are one of those rare individuals, whose bravery changes the course of history. As a Vietnam-era draftee and veteran, I salute you for having done the right things, not only according to the Geneva Conventions, by reporting war crimes, but according to your conscience and need for gender clarity. You have accomplished an amazing advancement in furthering human rights. Thank you.
    Dennis Milholland, Berlin, Germany

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