Posted Apr 23, 2014 07:20 pm CDT
Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, the soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning who was convicted of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, was granted a formal name change Wednesday.
The request was granted by Leavenworth County, Kan., District Judge David King, the Associated Press reports. Manning is serving her 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth’s Army prison, which houses male inmates.
Army spokesman George Wright told the AP that Manning’s name will be changed on military records, but the ruling will not change Manning’s confinement status.
Manning didn’t attend the hearing, but in a statement said that it was “an exciting day.”
“Hopefully today’s name change, while so meaningful to me personally, can also raise awareness of the fact that we (transgender) people exist everywhere in America today, and that we have must jump through hurdles every day just for being who we are,” she said.
At least two Army behavioral health specialists have diagnosed Manning with gender identity disorder, according to the article. The Army continues to recognize Manning by her biological gender and has denied her request to receive hormone replacement therapy.
Manning, a former intelligence analyst in Iraq, was sentenced in August 2013 for six Espionage Act violations and 14 other offenses involving leaking more than 700,000 secret military and U.S. State Department documents, according to the article. Her convictions were upheld last week by an Army general.