Photo credit: Janus Rose / @zenalbatross

The following is a message from Chelsea Manning, who is currently being jailed for a resisting a grand jury in Alexandria, VA. The statement was relayed by her supporters on June 30th, 2019, during the NYC Queer Liberation March, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising:

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Friends,

I’m deeply saddened that I can not be here with you today.

A few months ago, while speaking on the phone from jail with one of my friends out in Brooklyn, I came to a startling realization. I said: “I remember growing up as a kid searching for…


Gavin and Deirdre Grimm — Photo: Scout Tufankjian/ACLU

Why I #StandWithGavin: Administrative bullying is still bullying

Being in prison can be draining — physically, emotionally, and spiritually. One of the things that keeps me going are the letters and cards you send me. Especially, letters and cards from trans kids.

Being trans anywhere can be very hard. But, it is especially difficult when you are a kid. Often fighting against the a world run by adults, trans kids are defenseless. Trans kids inspire me. Why? Because I was one of you.

Now, we hear the U.S. Government is changing its mind. They are dropping guidance on how to protect trans students in schools. This guidance was…


We must not fear ourselves. We all want the same things.

Throughout our history, humanity has strived to be better. We have strived to be more free. To be more open, and to be more fair.

Suddenly, we are afraid of our own shadows. We are threatened by invisible enemies. Now, we fear reflections of ourselves. We see hidden demons that are everywhere. Inside and out.

This assault on our identity — this battle with our virtues of liberty and justice, on truth and openness, and on diversity and fairness — did not come out of a vacuum. This was…


We must stay strong and stay together

Chelsea Manning — August 14, 2016 File Photo — CC-BY-SA

Every day, I can feel the slow terror of us going backwards. Repression. People losing their heath care. People being stopped from voting.

People being blocked from speaking, and exercising their rights. I fear the horrible consequences that are facing a lot of us in the coming days, months, and years.

All of the people I care about. Everybody is hurting. Everybody is looking for something.

And I am no different. I am scared and I don’t know what to do, but I feel a lot of responsibility.

When I reflect on my own journey and political consciousness, I realize…


“Additional Information in Support of Chelsea Manning’s Application for Clemency”

Chelsea Elizabeth Manning — File Photo — August 14, 2016 (CC-BY-SA)

I take full and complete responsibility for my decision to disclose these materials to the public. I have never made any excuses for what I did. I pleaded guilty without the protection of a plea agreement because I believed the military justice system would understand my motivation for the disclosure and sentence me fairly. I was wrong.

The military judge sentenced me to thirty-five years confinement — far more than I could have ever imagined possible, as there was no historical precedent for such an extreme sentence under similar facts…

I have since been placed in solitary confinement as a…


My thoughts on being called a “writer”

How did I become a writer? I have no idea. It just happened.

I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a writer. If you told me seven years ago that I’d be writing articles for the Guardian and blogging, I’d say you were crazy.

I never imagined that I’d be a writer. For me, it was not until I was imprisoned, and unable to communicate with the world in any other way, that my “writer’s voice” suddenly emerged.

On the one hand (the left?), the simple truth is that I don’t want to write. On…


Thoughts on feeling overwhelmed

This is how tiny our world is. This is the “Pale Blue Dot” as Carl Sagan described it. Tiny and precious. By NASA — Public Domain.

So many things are happening around us. It feels overwhelming. The tragedies, events, and debates are raging around us from far, far away — accessible only through a broadband connection. They are happening in our towns, cities, and suburbs. They are happening in our streets, on our blocks, in our shopping centers, our houses of worship, and our nightclubs. They are even happening inside our homes, our cars, and even in our bathrooms.

In response, we are experiencing a deluge of hatred, fear, pain, division and loss.

This ceaseless rhetorical posturing is having devastating consequences. This fear can be based…


Just a few words about my spirit and well being.

The Freedom of the Press Foundation’s “Write Chelsea Manning” table at the July 2016 HopeX. Photo by Yan Zhu. CC-BY-SA

I thought it might be a good idea to say a few words about how I am doing.

I have been feeling a little better. Certainly better than the week before last, when I was first served with these charges. Your outpouring of support has been incredible. You have made a real difference in my feelings about myself and my situation.

One thing I’ve had to learn to remember, is that there are thousands of people all over the world thinking about me every day. Knowing that does help me get through my day. …


My statement for the Hope Conference 2016

(Left to right) Naomi Colvin, Nathan Fuller, Carey Shenkman, Grace North, and Yan Zhu. Photo by Gabriella Coleman.

As read by Yan Zhu on July 24, 2016, Hope Conference 2016, New York, NY.

First, I’d like to thank you all for your warm love and strong support over the years. You never cease to amaze me with how truly extensive and long-lasting your support has been, and I am always hearing about your messages being posted on social media.

In just the last few weeks, I have needed you all more than ever. It has been a roller coaster for me.

I just filed my appeal a few months ago, where I have asked the judges to dismiss…


Reflecting on my identity

This was a selfie taken in November 3, 2008 prior to my transition. CC-BY-SA

After weeks of emotion and thought, I’ve decided I need to tell you something: I am tired of being defined by the world through the narrow lens of a single event that happened in my life several years ago.

Although I have dedicated the vast majority of my life to the principles of transparency, social equality, individual protections, free speech, human rights, and justice, the world usually chooses to define me with this description:

“Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, was a U.S. Army Soldier who was convicted in July 2013 of Theft of Government information, violations of the…

Chelsea Manning

Grand Jury Resister. Network Security Expert. Fmr. Intel Analyst. Trans Woman. #WeGotThis

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