Chelsea Man­ning makes waves with Vogue swim­suit spread

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Trans­gen­der sol­dier Chelsea Man­ning, the former Army in­tel­li­gence an­a­lyst jailed for leak­ing troves of clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion to Wik­iLeaks, has turned heads by pos­ing in a red one-piece bathing suit for the Septem­ber is­sue of Vogue. "Guess this is what free­dom looks like," Man­ning said in so­cial me­dia posts that in­cluded a pic­ture from the shoot with celebrity pho­tog­ra­pher An­nie Lei­bovitz, show­ing Man­ning walk­ing on a beach, her hands in her wet hair.

"Chelsea Man­ning changed the course of his­tory. Now she's fo­cus­ing on her­self," says the head­line of the fash­ion magazine's long-form in­ter­view with Man­ning, who has be­come an icon for trans­gen­der ac­tivists. The photo and the ar­ti­cle gar­nered major at­ten­tion on so­cial me­dia Fri­day, elic­it­ing com­ments both for and against Man­ning, who will turn 30 in De­cem­ber. Man­ning was sen­tenced to 35 years in prison in 2013 for leak­ing more than 700,000 clas­si­fied doc­u­ments to Wik­iLeaks three years ear­lier, when she was known as Bradley.

She served seven years, and twice tried to take her own life last year alone, be­fore then-pres­i­dent Barack Obama com­muted her sen­tence just days be­fore he left of­fice in Jan­uary. Man­ning was re­leased from Fort Leav­en­worth's all-male prison in May. Dur­ing her in­car­cer­a­tion, Man­ning bat­tled for-and won-the right to start hor­mone treat­ment. She now has cropped blonde hair and a de­cid­edly fem­i­nine look.

For some Amer­i­cans, she is a hero who paid dearly for leak­ing em­bar­rass­ing US diplo­matic ca­bles and clas­si­fied mil­i­tary doc­u­ments about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. For oth­ers, she is a traitor. So far, Man­ning's tweet with the Vogue photo has been retweeted about 3,600 times, and has raked in about 27,000 likes. — AFP

This file photo shows trans­gen­der former sol­dier Chelsea Man­ning one day af­ter be­ing re­leased from a top-se­cu­rity US mil­i­tary prison. — AFP

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