Manning, who was released from prison after serving almost seven years of her 35-year sentence for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, posted the photo on Instagram and Twitter.
Manning's attorneys refused to tell the Associated Press and CBS News about her whereabouts or immediate plans. Her caption reads: "Okay, so here I am everyone!" "I'm figuring things out right now - which is exciting, awkward, fun, and all new for me". Manning was convicted in 2013 on 20 charges, including violating the Espionage Act, for leaking a massive trove of United States documents and video to WikiLeaks. Manning, born Bradley Manning, served seven years of her 35-year sentence.
Spencer's support may seem unlikely given that many conservative writers made a habit of ridiculing Manning, particularly because she is transgender. That decision angered national security experts who say Manning put US lives at risk but it won praise from transgender advocates who have embraced her transition to a female gender identity.Once known as Private First Class Bradley Manning, she is likely to become a high-profile transgender advocate, said Chase Strangio, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who has represented her. She is also considering gender reassignment if doctors continue to recommend it. She twice tried to commit suicide and faced long stretches of solitary confinement as well as denial of healthcare, Strangio said.Last year, the U.S. Defence Department lifted a long-standing ban against transgender men and women serving openly in the military. Eventually, the government agreed to allow her to receive hormones, and eventually, following a hunger strike, gender confirmation surgery. However, on Wednesday, her lawyers said she would not use the health benefits she was entitled to as a military member.
Manning has said she hopes to reside in the Washington area.
"It is incredible to witness Chelsea Manning's freedom after having seen and worked with her behind bars for four years. I am humbled to fight alongside such a fierce advocate for justice".