Chelsea Manning shares photo after undergoing gender surgery
Transgender whistleblower Chelsea Manning has undergone gender confirmation surgery.
Manning, who came out as transgender in 2013 while behind bars, announced Saturday (October 20) on social media that she had undergone surgery.
In the post, she wrote: “after almost a decade of fighting – thru prison, the courts, a hunger strike, and thru the insurance company – I finally got surgery this week.”
Manning shared a selfie from a hospital bed after undergoing the surgery. She did not share any additional details of the procedure.
The activist also took time from her hospital bed to condemn the Trump administration’s attacks on transgender rights, after it was reported that the White House is planning to adopt new regulations which would end legal recognition of gender changes.
She said: “laws don’t determine our existence – *we* determine our existence – it’s our weapon, our shelter, our energy, our healer, our truth – we will keep moving forward – we will keep fighting – existence is *our* only law.”
Manning has had a long road to the surgery.
She first came out as a transgender woman five years ago, while serving a 35-year prison sentence for leaking files to Wikileaks while serving in the US military.
The prisoner was denied the right to transition while in jail, leading her to make several suicide attempts.
The American Civil Liberties Union supported her 2014 legal action supporting her right to present as female while in Fort Leavenworth military prison, where she was forced to keep male dress standards, referred to using male pronouns, and denied the right to transition.
A separate legal complaint in 2016 alleged that Manning had been denied access to correspondence and media clippings, including printouts of PinkNews articles relating to her transition.
In one of his final acts as President in December 2016, Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence, allowing her release in May 2017 after serving a fifth of the original sentence.
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In a statement, an emotional Manning thanked former President Obama for freeing her to live as herself.
She said: at the time: “Freedom used to be something that I dreamed of but never allowed myself to fully imagine.
“Now, freedom is something that I will again experience with friends and loved ones after nearly seven years of bars and cement, of periods of solitary confinement, and of my health care and autonomy restricted, including through routinely forced haircuts.
“I am forever grateful to the people who kept me alive, President Obama, my legal team and countless supporters.”