Speaking out

Chelsea Manning shares photo following gender confirmation surgery, “almost a decade of fighting”

Transgender activist Chelsea Manning wants everyone to know she’s OK.

Manning shared a photo from her hospital bed following a gender confirmation procedure. She also took the opportunity to condemn the Trump administration’s renewed attacks on transgender rights. The White House announced Monday that it is taking steps to make sure gender transitions are not legally recognized.

“Laws don’t determine our existence,” Manning tweeted. “*We* determine our existence – it’s our weapon, our shelter, our energy, our healer, our truth – we will keep moving forward – we will keep fighting – existence is *our* only law.”

Related: Chelsea Manning reveals what she looks like now in new Instagram photo

Manning has advocated transgender rights since her own coming out in 2013–while in prison for leaking highly classified information to Wikileaks. Though the former Army Specialist claimed the material exposed evidence of war crimes during the Iraq war and occupation, the government has always maintained that the leaks jeopardized the lives of American troops, diplomats and intelligence sources. She served six of 35 years in prison before President Obama commuted her sentence to time served in early January 2017.