Chelsea Manning walked out prison yesterday after enduring seven years of confinement. Getting back on one’s feet after prison is not an easy task, but Manning seemed in good spirits on social media yesterday, ready for what’s to come. Others were also planning for Manning’s release, like Anna Wintour, who was reportedly making calls to designers to prepare for a Chelsea Manning Vogue photo shoot. Women’s Wear Daily first reported that designers were getting calls to find some “looks” for an upcoming shoot, though Vogue declined to comment on their editorial schedule. But that’s just what they do.
Aside from a possible Vogue cover shoot, there isn’t much information about what Manning will do going forward, though she will still be an active duty soldier, complete with benefits. To further help her, supporters started a GoFundMe account to help her restart her life as a free woman. Manning posted a picture of her black Converse sneakers leaving prison yesterday, captioning the photo, “First Steps of Freedom!! #ChelsealsFree.” Later, she posted a picture of a slice of pizza, celebrating her first meal outside of Fort Leavenworth.
Chelsea Manning is ready to start over.
First meal, complete with bubbly.
For now, Manning plans on laying low as she transitions into post-prison life. It’s not easy for anyone to adjust after confinement, and it will be especially hard for the 29-year-old Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison before President Obama commuted her sentence. In a male prison, she came out as a transgender woman, went on hunger strike to get medical treatment, attempted suicide twice, and spent most of her time in solitary confinement. Before taking office, Donald Trump called her an “ungrateful traitor,” so the world is not an especially kind place for her at the moment.
Last week, she released a statement via her attorneys:
ACLU attorney and transgender advocate, Chase Strangio said that Chelsea “is waiting to experience life outside of prison before declaring any future plans. After so many years of government control over her body and gender, I know she is eager to grow her hair, express her gender and negotiate decisions on her own terms.”
They added that she was also ready for pizza, Playstation, and meeting her supporters. Hopefully, posing for Vogue is on the agenda, too.