Chelsea ManningBy Chelsea Manning. April 23, 2014

Today is an exciting day. A judge in the state of Kansas has officially ordered my name to be changed from “Bradley Edward Manning” to “Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.” I’ve been working for months for this change, and waiting for years.

It’s worth noting that in both mail and in-person, I’ve often been asked, “Why are you changing your name?” The answer couldn’t be simpler: because it’s a far better, richer, and more honest reflection of who I am and always have been –a woman named Chelsea.

But there is another question I’ve been asked nearly as much, “why are you making this request of the Leavenworth district court?” This is a more complicated question, but the short answer is simple: because I have to.

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Portrait by Alicia Neal of how Chelsea Manning sees herself (image above-right). Commissioned by the Chelsea Manning Support Network with direct input from Chelsea herself.

Chelsea Manning: Defending Democracy DC event

On April 13th, Chelsea Manning’s new legal defense team, Nancy Hollander and Vincent Ward, gave their first public presentation alongside NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, FBI whistle-blower Mike German, and Courage to Resist organizer Emma Cape. Video of this event is now available on YouTube here.