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Chelsea Manning Wanted To 'Give Up On Everything' When Military Wouldn't Let Her Grow Out Hair

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 7/10/2015 Sam Levine
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Chelsea Manning said on Wednesday that she wanted to "give up on everything" after she found out that the military would not allow her to grow her hair out last month.

"I finally decided that maybe I should quit, to give up on everything and everyone: my family, my friends, my supporters, my court-martial appeal, and my other legal battles," Manning wrote in her first post on Medium. "I didn’t take the news well. I felt sick. I felt sad. I felt gross — like Frankenstein’s monster wandering around the countryside avoiding angry mobs with torches and pitch forks."

Manning, who was assigned male at birth and diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2014, is serving a 35-year sentence at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, for leaking government documents to Wikileaks. The military has agreed to give Manning access to hormone therapy, speech therapy and cosmetics. Manning has said that she would appeal the military's decision about her hair length.

After learning of the decision that would require her to keep her hair short, Manning said that she cried all night and spoke to her attorney. After that, she said she got a "second wind."

"After feeling devastated, humiliated, hurt, and rejected — and after wanting to give up on the world — I found my 'second wind' of sorts," she wrote. "I can make it just a little longer. I just hope it’s not too much longer."

Manning, who also tweets by communicating with someone who then transcribes messages for her, added that she would use Medium to document her experiences in prison.

"I hope to use this platform as a place to document my experience and share my story and, maybe even begin a conversation. Going through such a seismic, existential shift in my life — transitioning in a military prison —presents real, meaningful, and daily challenges," she wrote.

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