Hello world, and hello Chelsea Manning. The US Army whistleblower is out of prison, on Instagram, and serving us her first selfie. Ok, fine, it's not really a selfie, but who cares, she looks absolutely gorgeous. Bathed in natural sunlight and smiling ever so slightly, the candid portrait is her fourth Insta post since yesterday's release, following on from a pic of her box-fresh Converse, a slice of Pepperoni pizza, and a couple of glasses of champagne (obvs).
Chelsea, who is just 29 years old, was convicted in 2013 by a military tribunal for releasing US military documents — revealing evidence of US complicity in torture and involvement in the killing of civilians — to WikiLeaks. Manning was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment; days after her conviction, she came out as transgender. When the military refused her treatment for her gender dysphoria, she filed a lawsuit. After negotiations with the military, Chelsea was given access to cosmetics and grooming items available to other women in custody, and in 2015 she started hormone therapy. Chelsea was released following a pardon issued by Barack Obama in January, one of his final acts as president.
"Okay, so here I am everyone!!" Chelsea captioned her first Instagram selfie. What a pleasure to meet you Chelsea, we can't wait to see what you do next!
Text Tish Weinstock