Bradley Manning’s struggle with gender identity as well as his mental health has been a focus during his trial. While the 25-year-old private sat in court today during the sentencing phase of his court-martial, a telling email Manning sent in 2010 to his then-supervisor was revealed to the jury. The email titled “My Problem” was a written confession in which Bradley Manning identified himself as transgender and felt haunted by his identity.
Attached to the email was a a photo of Manning dressed as a woman, which has made its way the Internet. The selfie in which Manning fashions a blonde wig and makeup givse insight into the psyche of the private who says he felt unable to transition within the military environment in Iraq. In the written correspondence Bradley says:
This is my problem. I’ve had signs of it for a very long time. It’s caused problems within my family. I thought a career in the military would get rid of it. It’s not something I seek out for attention, and I’ve been trying very, very hard to get rid of it by placing myself in situations where it would be impossible. But, it’s not going away; it’s haunting me more and more as I get older. Now, the consequences of it are dire, at a time when it’s causing me great pain it itself.