Chelsea Manning Shares First Photo After Release From Prison


Chelsea Manning

Whistleblower Chelsea Manning has shared her first photo of herself since her release from a military prison this week.

Manning was convicted in 2013 for leaking hundreds of thousands of military documents to WikiLeaks. During her seven years in military prison, she was denied resources to help her transition to female, and attempted suicide several times.

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In January, outgoing President Barack Obama commuted the majority of her sentence.

Manning posted the photo on her social media accounts with the message: “Okay, so here I am everyone!”

Her release coincided with the International Day Against Hompophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia on Wednesday, and she said in a statement to ABC News: “I appreciate the wonderful support that I have received from so many people across the world over these past years.

“As I rebuild my life, I remind myself not to relive the past. The past will always affect me and I will keep that in mind while remembering that how it played out is only my starting point, not my final destination.”

Earlier this month, Manning said for the first time, she “can see a future for myself as Chelsea.”

“I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world,” she said.

“Freedom used to be something that I dreamed of but never allowed myself to fully imagine. Now, freedom is something that I will again experience with friends and loved ones after nearly seven years of bars and cement, of periods of solitary confinement, and of my health care and autonomy restricted, including through routinely forced haircuts.”

Manning shared her “first steps of freedom” and a post-prison meal and toast in photos on her social media accounts on Wednesday.