Army Pfc.Bradley Manning says he wants to live as a woman named Chelsea Elizabeth and begin hormone therapy.
Manning was sentenced Wednesday to 35 years in prison for giving hundreds of thousands of secret military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks in one of the nation's biggest leak cases since the Pentagon Papers more than a generation ago.
Manning read a statement on the Today Show Thursday morning.
"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," Manning said.
Manning's attorney said Manning does not regret his decision to provide the confidential documents to Wikileaks.
"I expect him to get pardoned," Manning's attorney said on the Today Show.
Manning plans to send a personal plea to President Obama next week for a presidential pardon, according to multiple sources.