Internet Reacts to Chelsea Manning's Vogue Photo

Annie Leibovitz photographed Manning for the September issue
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2017 6:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – If you've ever wanted to know the effect that liberation has on a person, Chelsea Manning is glad to show you. ABC News reports that the transgender soldier released from prison earlier this year posted a photo Thursday to her social media accounts that shows her smiling at the beach in a red one-piece swimsuit, with the caption, "Guess this is what freedom looks like." The picture was taken by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, who documented Manning for an article appearing in the September issue of Vogue. In that interview, Manning talks about how she's adjusting to being out of jail, her regrets that she didn't come out as transgender earlier in her life, and her future plans, which may or may not include running for political office. "My goal is to use these next six months to figure out where I want to go," she notes.

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Online reaction to the Vogue coverage has been mixed, CBS News notes, with some offering support and others blasting the magazine for highlighting both a transgender woman and someone who many believe should still be behind bars. "This ugly whatever should be in prison, forever," one non-fan tweeted, to which Manning replied, "And here I am," accompanied by her trademark slew of positive emojis. The conservative National Review also weighed in, with a column by David French that asks: "If Bradley Manning had stayed Bradley Manning, would he be basking in celebrity, enjoying fawning photo shoots?" The Guardian notes that Manning's appearance in Vogue isn't the magazine's first transgender presence: Models Hari Nef and Andreja Pejic have both appeared in its pages, and model Valentina Sampaio has graced the cover of the publication's French version. (Read more Chelsea Manning stories.)

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