Legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz captured an image of Chelsea Manning in a Norma Kamali swimsuit.
— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) August 12, 2017
The former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who was released from prison earlier this year says that fashion magazines were one of her interests in jail. “I missed seven years of fashion, but I went through every season in a magazine!” Manning told Vogue, referring to the seven years she spent in prison for leaking nearly one million military and diplomatic documents.
Manning said in the interview that she had a sense that she was “different” from a young age. “I gravitated more toward playing house, but the teachers were always pushing me toward playing the more competitive games with the boys,” she said.
“I spent so much time wondering, What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I fit in?”
When she was around twelve-years-old, she realized that she was attracted to boys and thought that she was gay. The internet provided an escape for young Chelsea. “I learned that I wasn’t alone. I learned about all these different life possibilities and options…. Because I would actually be anonymous online, I could be more myself.”
After a rough childhood – her father left the family when she was eleven and her mother struggled with alcoholism – Chelsea said that she joined the military to learn who she was. “I don’t know who I am. Maybe the military will allow me to figure that out.”
“It was a naive thought, but it was very real to me in 2007,” she said.
Now, out of prison and living in New York City, Manning is dealing with strangers calling her a “hero.”
“I was honestly a bit surprised by the outpouring of love and support that I got,” she said.