Chelsea Manning, the transgender soldier imprisoned for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, is about to spend her seventh Christmas in military police custody. Manning recently asked President Obama to commute her sentence to time served, not long after attempting suicide for the second time while in custody, which occurred in October of this year.
Supporters are sending holiday cards and books to her, rallying on the transgender subreddit.
“I have no idea what to write. She gave me the courage to transition,” wrote one redditor.
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“The just wrote that,” another responded.
Manning wrote an article for The Guardian last year in December titled “In prison, the holiday season is grim – but I won’t lose hope.” In it, she said that the letters and cards were one thing that gave her hope in a desperate situation.
“I am happily reminded that I am real and that I do exist for people outside this prison,” she wrote.
Many are worried about what a Trump administration will mean for Manning. Trump is reportedly considering a man, David Clarke, who called transgender people “freakish” to head up the Department of Homeland Security.
As The New Republic notes, the military’s decision in September to allow her to have gender confirmation surgery, which was part of a larger decision permitting trans soldiers to serve openly, has been openly criticized by both the president-elect and the person he has appointed to be his national security advisor, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
Those wishing to write to Manning can find more information to do so through the official Chelsea Manning Support Network website here.