A Kansas judge has granted an official name change to Chelsea Manning, the Army private in prison for giving classified information to online transparency group Wikileaks. While she was given the name "Bradley Edward Manning" at birth, a judge allowed that changed to "Chelsea Elizabeth Manning."
In a statement, Manning said Wednesday was "an exciting day" and called the new name "a far better, richer, and more honest reflection of who I am and always have been -- a woman named Chelsea."
Manning was sentenced in August to 35 years in prison for leaking classified documents, and she is currently serving time in a military prison in Fort Leavenworth. The day after she was sentenced, Manning announced through her lawyer that she is a transgender woman and would be changing her name and seeking other medical treatments.
Manning mentioned her efforts to get health care in the statement. After an initial evaluation in August, Manning said Wednesday, "I have not received any response as to whether the plan will be approved or disapproved, or whether it follows the guidelines of qualified health professionals."
"If I'm successful in obtaining access to trans healthcare," she continued, "it will not only be something I have wanted for a long time myself, but it will also open the door for many people, both inside and outside the military, to request the right to live more open, fulfilled lives."