Earlier today, CHELSEA MANNING, the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who served 7 years in prison for sharing classified military documents, released her first photo on social media outlets Instagram and Twitter with a simple message “Okay, so here I am everyone!! =P ” and the hashtag: #HelloWorld “
It’s just one day after the 29 year old transwoman was released from the prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Earlier this year and just prior to leaving office, then President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s 35 year long sentence.
Other than a grainy selfie depicting Manning in a wig taken a few years ago, today’s photo is the first depicting Chelsea Manning as an out transwoman. It was taken by documentary filmmaker Tim Travers Hawkins who is currently filming a documentary titled “XY Chelsea” about Manning’s life and post-prison experiences. Manning came out publicly as transgender after being sentenced and had struggled with transitioning in the federal military prison system and charged she was not receiving adequate care or counseling as a transgender prisoner.
Upon her release, she issued a statement: “”After another anxious four months of waiting, the day has finally arrived. I am looking forward to so much! Whatever is ahead of me is far more important than the past. I’m figuring things out right now — which is exciting, awkward, fun, and all new for me.”
Chelsea Manning is still on active duty and remains under military jurisdiction while her appeal is in the court system.