The simple photo features a shot of black Converse Chuck All-Stars and boasts the caption: “First steps of freedom!!”
A post shared by Chelsea E. Manning (@xychelsea87) on May 17, 2017 at 6:39am PDT
The photo, which received over 14,000 likes, was her first post on her brand new Instagram account.
To commemorate the whistle blower’s newfound freedom, the trans community and other supporters have been tweeting photos of their Chuck All-Stars alongside the hashtag #ChucksforChelsea.
In 2013, Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for providing WikiLeaks with secret military and diplomatic documents. The controversial move made some view Manning as a traitor, while others saw her as a hero.
The same year she was imprisoned, Manning came out as transgender, telling the world she identified as a woman named Chelsea, “request[ing] that … you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun.”
Manning, who was also sentenced to a men’s military prison, experienced brutal conditions as a transgender woman.
While in prison, Manning attempted suicide twice.
In January, former President Barack Obama commuted her sentence before leaving office.
She now finally has the chance to live out her life as her chosen gender.
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