It's official: Pfc. Bradley Edward Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.
A Kentucky judge gave the OK for the convicted former Army intelligence analyst to change his name from the masculine to the feminine in a court hearing on Wednesday.
The hearing before Leavenworth County District Judge David King lasted about a minute, CBS reported. That's not surprising. A court administrator, Steve Crossland, said nobody had filed any opposition to the name change request, The Associated Press reported.
Pfc. Manning wasn't at court, but said in a statement, reported by CBS: "Hopefully, today's name change, while so meaningful to me personally, can also raise awareness of the fact that we [transgender] people can exist everywhere in America today and that we ... must jump through hurdles every day just for being who we are."
Pfc. Manning — who was sent to Fort Leavenworth to serve 35 years for leaking government documents to WikiLeaks — has been trying to live as a woman since August.
The name change isn't likely to bring a substantial change to Pfc. Manning's current way of life. The Army only has to change Pfc. Manning's military records, but is not required to move him to a prison with a female unit.
"This potential court action is only a name change and will have no other effect on his current status other than the name in his records," George Wright, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon, told AP in the hours before the hearing had wrapped.
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