Chelsea Manning talks prison, living as trans and dating in 'Vogue'

Chelsea Manning Makes Fashionable Debut in Vogue's September Issue

Since her release from prison, Chelsea Manning has become a social media star and prominent voice in the LGBT community, as more and more state legislatures and even the White House try to limit LGBT rights.

Manning was always courageous but didn't have an avenue for exploring her truth.

Chelsea Manning looks empowered and free in a new feature for the September issue of Vogue - and she sounds it too. Obama commuted her sentence days before he left office.

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She wrote: "I've managed to watch a couple of episodes and it's actually really freaky seeing someone you know so well in there". She continued: 'Sarah can sometimes be easily overwhelmed so I really hope she's OK in there and enjoys the experience.

"It's not like I'm living in fear or anything", she told Vogue. "I was honestly a bit surprised by the outpouring of love and support that I got". Her first major interview after prison was published in the New York Times Magazine in June.

She is now embracing her new freedom with gusto.

Manning had a turbulent adolescence and a near-miss during the 2005 London bombings led to her moving in and out with various family members. Growing up, she considered herself to be gay.

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"That's the part of my life I replay the most: whether or not, living in Maryland and seeing a therapist, I could have finally been able to say, 'This is who I am; this is what I want to do, '" she said. "But I got scared", she said, and instead joined the military, naively hoping that environment would solve her identity issues.

Manning has been lauded as a whistleblower and condemned as a traitor for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified government documents to WikiLeaks in 2010 while still known as Pte.

While she tells Vogue that she has "accepted responsibility for my own decisions and my own actions", prison life was incredibly harsh. "I ran out of time". "Do and say and be who you are because, no matter what happens, you are loved unconditionally".

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