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Chelsea Manning's first photograph as a woman, posted to her Instagram account
Chelsea Manning/Instagram
Hello, world.
FIRST, LET ME TAKE A SELFIE

Chelsea Manning is Instagramming her first days of freedom

By Selina Cheng

Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower who leaked over 750,000 military and diplomatic documents to Wikileaks in 2010, was released from prison yesterday (May 17). She’s clearly excited to share her experience rejoining world she helped change—through Instagram.

Manning was sentenced to 35 years of prison, on 20 counts, including six violations of the Espionage Act. After serving seven years—some of which took place in solitary confinement—the remaining 28 years of her sentence were commuted by former US president Barack Obama, just before the end of his presidency.

The former army private posted a selfie of her own feet as soon as her account @xychelsea87 was created yesterday, with the caption “First steps of freedom!! :D” As of publication time, she’d already gained 22,000 followers on Instagram, as well as the blue checkmark the social platform uses to note a verified user account.

Adhering to the unspoken Instagram rules of lifestyle and food photography, Manning then posted a picture of a slice of pizza—a food she missed during her seven years of prison time—and a picture of some celebratory champagne shared with friends.

And today, she posted the first full photo of herself since her release, where she proudly announced: “Okay, so here I am everyone!! :P”