— Nightline (@Nightline) June 15, 2017
It's been roughly a month since Chelsea Manning was released from prison, and she's still sharing stories from her time behind bars. Manning was initially sentenced to 35 years for leaking more than 700,000 confidential documents to Wikileaks. In 2013, shortly after the prison sentencing, Manning — who was previously known as Bradley — came out as transgender. "I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female," she said in a statement. "Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible." She then fought for two years to begin hormone therapy before the military finally agreed to provide a prescription.
Four years after coming out, Manning agreed to an exclusive interview with ABC, in which she shared the impact her decision has made on the LGBTQ+ community. In the clip, Chelsea reads letters from transgender youth who felt inspired by her decision to come out. She can't help but tear up as she explains how her story was exactly the kind of thing she needed when she was younger. The fact that she gets to be a role model for other young kids is pretty remarkable in itself.