'Here I am!' Chelsea Manning shares first photo after prison

10:23   19 May 2017    816

“Okay, so here I am everyone!!” wrote Chelsea Manning on her Instagram page as one of the world’s most famous official leakers published the first photograph of herself as a free transgender woman.

Manning was released from military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on Wednesday having served seven years of her 35-year sentence for transmitting a vast trove of US state secrets to WikiLeaks. In her new profile photo, she still displayed the male grooming standard of two-inch hair that was imposed upon her by the military – that will take time to grow out.

But in other regards she had thoroughly thrown off the military custodial yoke. She looked relaxed in a low-cut open-topped black and white ensemble set off by a slash of bright choral lipstick.

Manning’s new appearance gives a more complete sense of her identity as a transgender woman. In a sequence of carefully choreographed Twitter posts since her release early on Wednesday morning, the only view of herself that had been glimpsed was her hand holding a glass of Dom Pérignon champagne and her black and white Converse shoes making their first steps of freedom.

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