Chelsea Manning Has Done A Stunning Cover Shoot & Huge Tell-All For The NYT

It really was only a matter of time after Chelsea Manning‘s (well overdue) release from prison that somebody would nab her for a big cover shoot and story. That somebody is The New York Times Magazine, and it’s very much worth a squiz.

The story, called The Long, Lonely Road Of Chelsea Manning, acts as a bit of a tell-all about her upbringing, her experience with gender dysphoria as a child, and what led her down the path to becoming one of the most famous whistleblowers of all time.
Her journey to understanding that she was a woman is detailed via her thoughts on gender dysphoria and her struggles growing up in the substantially less tolerant 90s.

As far back as Chelsea Manning can remember, to her earliest days in Crescent, on the far edge of the Oklahoma City metro area, she suffered from a feeling of intense dislocation, something constant and psychic that she struggled to define to herself, much less to her older sister, Casey, or her parents, Brian and Susan. During one of our interviews, I mentioned that I heard a clinical psychologist compare gender dysphoria to a “giant, cosmic toothache.” Manning flushed. That was it exactly, she agreed: “Morning, evening, breakfast, lunch, dinner, wherever you are. It’s everywhere you go.”
As well as providing an insight into her home life, it’s a pretty great portrait of what she actually did in Iraq as an intelligence officer, and how her experience being exposed to the brutality of that conflict led her to believe that leaking classified documents and video to WikiLeaks was the way forward.
Manning told me her decision to provide the information to WikiLeaks was a practical one: She originally planned to deliver the data to The New York Times or The Washington Post, and for the last week of her leave, she dodged from public phone to public phone, calling the main office lines for both papers, leaving a message for the public editor at The Times and engaging in a frustrating conversation with a Post writer, who said she would have to know more about the files before her editor would sign off on an article. A hastily arranged meeting with Politico, where she hoped to introduce herself to the site’s security bloggers, was scrapped because of bad weather. “I wanted to try to establish a contact in a way that it couldn’t be traced to me,” Manning told me. But she was running out of time. She describes a clearheaded sense of purpose coming over her: “I needed to do something,” she told me. “And I didn’t want anything to stop that.”
And, of course, its accompanied by a number of great shots of Manning.
It’s a fascinating long read – get stuck into it on your commute.
Source: The New York Times Magazine.
Photo: NYT.