Chelsea Manning is a free Woman

Chalsea Manning ist frei. Welcome to life and a happy International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. 💛❤️💜💙💚

BBC: Chelsea Manning: Wikileaks source freed from military prison
heise: Wikileaks-Informantin Chelsea Manning ist frei

A US Army spokesperson confirmed to the BBC that she had left Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas.

Most of what remained of her 35-year sentence was commuted by then-US President Barack Obama in January.
Her lawyer earlier said she was excited but likely to be "anxious".

"She's ready to finally be able to live as the woman that she is," Nancy Hollander told the BBC. The 29-year-old soldier was born Bradley Manning.

[update 17:48h] „Manning released the following statement upon her release“:

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.

Hier der Chelsea Manning Welcome Home Fund. Have a good time, Chelsea!

[update 19.5. 22:21h] DailyBeast: What That Stunning Photograph of Chelsea Manning Really Shows

French philosopher Roland Barthes famously theorized that a photograph can have a punctum, a “poignant” visual “accident” that “pricks” and “bruises” the viewer, disrupting the literal contents of the image. The punctum is the arresting detail that turns a simple family snapshot into an unforgettable image.

For me, the punctum in the first photograph Chelsea Manning distributed of herself on Thursday—after her release from prison earlier this week—isn’t her striking red lipstick or even her piercing, lightly-lined blue eyes but rather a certain quality of her hair: soft, downy, obviously freshly-washed. That single, difficult-to-describe detail says more to me about Manning’s post-release feelings than words ever could. […]

Even though Manning was given access to hormone therapy years ago and finally received permission in 2016 to undergo sex reassignment surgery, the imprisoned soldier was required to conform to United States Disciplinary Barracks male hairstyle standards, which meant that her hair could be no longer than two inches in length. […]

When Manning announced she was starting a hunger strike in 2016, she specified that she would “refuse to voluntarily cut or shorten [her] hair in any way.” At that point, she had reportedly been given psychotherapy for her gender dysphoria, speech therapy to feminize her voice, and “subdued cosmetics”—as the DOJ court brief put it—to adorn her face, but the USDB would not budge on her hair. Hair might seem like a smaller concern relative to 35 years imprisonment, but in a gendered world, it matters. Hair is so often a part of personal identity, not just for transgender people but for cisgender people, too. […]

Looking at this new image, Manning’s relief is clear. Gender dysphoria itself is a kind of prison but—as many parallels as I can draw between my own experience and hers—I can never relate to the experience of having a literal prison control my gender expression. This new portrait is the first time since her conviction that Manning has been able to control her own image. […]

Her hair will keep growing. She’ll probably keep the chucks. There will be more images—images that I can only assume will get closer and closer to how Manning has wanted to appear for seven years.

But for now, we have this single striking image of a woman at a turning point.

They may never get more arresting than this.

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