Chelsea Manning, 29, has been interviewed and photographed for the September issue of #Vogue, one of their most influential and coveted annual issues.

Cover girl for the September issue of Vogue

The former U.S. Army soldier and well-known whistleblower was captured on a beach wearing a red #swimsuit by Norma Kamali by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz for the cover of the September issue of Vogue.

Manning posted the image on both her Instagram and Twitter pages, captioning the image to say she guesses this is what freedom looks like.

Former conviction for whistleblowing for Chelsea Manning

As noted by ABC News, the then Bradley Manning was convicted in 2013 for releasing highly classified material to Julian Assange’s Wikileaks, including the controversial "Collateral Murder" video showing U.S.

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army helicopter shooting a group of civilians and journalists in Baghdad. She was given a sentence of 35 years behind bars in a military prison.

One day after receiving her sentence, Manning openly acknowledged that she was transgender, but was forced to stay in an all-male prison. After suffering two suicide attempts while in prison, former President Barack Obama commuted her sentence in the days leading up to his leaving office. Manning was finally released in May this year.

Life after prison for Chelsea Manning

The Vogue interviewer asked Manning how it felt to finally be free and what her life was like now. She told them she is glad to be free and walking around again and is definitely not living in fear. Speaking of the latest fashions, which Manning is now about to wear, she said she missed seven years of it while in prison but she did see every fashion season in magazines.

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Vogue also asked about the difficulties of her school days and Manning admitted she always knew she was different. While teachers were trying to push her into competitive games with other boys, she said she preferred playing house. She always wondered what was wrong with her and why she couldn’t fit in others at school.

She says she regrets not coming out earlier as transgender and that she was seeing a therapist at the age of 19. At that age she began to accept what she was and did consider transitioning but got scared. Manning said she didn’t realize at the time that she had the love and support she needed, especially from her sister and her aunt.

When she finally did take the step to come out as transgender, Manning says she was surprised at the amount of support and love she received, although there was also a backlash, which didn’t affect her.

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Vogue asked Manning if she was considering running for political office and she said she is not going to say no, but neither is she going to say yes at this time. She said she plans to use the next six months to decide which way she wants to go. Manning added that whatever she does decide to do, she wants to be who she is and says her values are those of compassion and responsibility. #Chelsea Manning