(CNN) -- "I am Chelsea Manning."
With those words, read from a statement on NBC's "Today" show on Thursday, Bradley Manning immediately shifted public conversation away from the Army private's conviction on espionage charges to gender identity.
"As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me," Manning said in the statement. "I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition."
While his supporters may back Manning, the Army said Thursday it won't.
Manning's lawyer, David Coombs, told "Today" that he'll take action if the Army doesn't provide the hormone therapy Manning has requested.
"I'm hoping Fort Leavenworth would do the right thing and provide that," Coombs said. "If Fort Leavenworth does not, then I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that they are forced to do so."
Pfc. Manning was sentenced on Wednesday to 35 years in prison for leaking 750,000 pages of classified documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. A military judge convicted Manning in July, sparing the former intelligence analyst from the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.