ICYMI: Chelsea Manning for Vogue.
In a Guardian column, written while in prison, Manning had discussed her nervousness about moving through the world as a woman. Now that she’s no longer worried about being “found out” by the military, she says, the fear is gone. “It feels natural. It feels like it’s how it’s supposed to be, instead of this anxiety, this uncertainty, this ball of self-consciousness that comes with pretending to be male,” she says. “It didn’t feel right. I didn’t know what it was. I couldn’t describe it. Now that’s gone.” […]
“I have these values that I can connect with: responsibility, compassion,” she goes on. “Those are really foundational for me. Do and say and be who you are because, no matter what happens, you are loved unconditionally.” It’s the lesson, she says, that she wishes she learned earlier. “Unconditional love,” she says. “It is OK to be who I am.”
It is OK to be who you are.