NEW YORK (AP) — For most Americans, Chelsea Manning has been a hero or villain based on how they view her decision to leak classified material. For transgender people, she has another dimension — serving as a potent symbol of their struggles for acceptance.
With Tuesday's commutation of her prison sentence by President Barack Obama, she's now due for release in May, when she will re-enter a society bitterly divided over many aspects of transgender rights
Known as Bradley Manning at the time of her 2010 arrest, Manning came out as transgender after being sentenced to 35 years in an all-male military prison. Under Army rules, she was barred from growing her hair long while incarcerated, and only after litigation by her legal team was she approved for hormone therapy.