The Army private convicted of supplying classified documents to WikiLeaks can legally change her name from Bradley Edward Manning to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, a Kansas judge ruled Wednesday.
The former intelligence analyst received a 35-year jail sentence in August 2013 for handing over more than 700,000 U.S. government files.
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Manning is serving time at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Her desire to identify as a woman became public after her conviction.
Leavenworth County District Judge David King further ruled that Manning's birth certificate be altered for the name change, NBC News reported
, citing the official petition.
Manning, 26, didn't attend the hearing, but issued a statement.
"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 ... must jump through hurdles every day just for being who we are," the statement read.
Despite the change, the Army isn’t required to treat Manning as a female, which could include a transfer to a women's wing at another penitentiary.
"The U.S. Disciplinary Barracks is a male-only facility and prisoners there are referred to by the title 'inmate,'" said Army spokesman George Wright in a statement, The Associated Press reported
Manning has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, or gender identity disorder. She said she still requires the military's assistance regarding healthcare.
"I have not ... yet seen their treatment plan, and in over eight months, 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," Manning wrote.
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