Chelsea Manning, who entered Prison as Bradley Manning, is the former Army intelligence analyst who leaked 750,000 pages of classified information to Wikileaks in 2010. She was freed on Wednesday, May 17 after President Obama commuted her 35-year sentence. Manning served just over seven years of her initial sentence.

Manning transitioned as a woman in prison

Before her release from Leavenworth prison in Kansas, she had to groom herself as a man. They wouldn't allow her to exit the prison groomed as a woman, CNN reported.

Manning came out as Transgender after being sentenced to 35 years in jail, which is the longest sentence ever imposed on a whistleblower.

Under Army rules, she wasn't allowed to grow her hair long while in incarcerated. Her legal team fought tooth and nail for her to be able to take hormone therapy.

Chelsea spent time in solitary confinement and tried to end her life twice in the past seven years.

She was released from active military with full medical benefits. However, Chelsea's attorney said his client does not wish to have the military pay for her medical bills due to the horrific treatment she received in prison.

The lawyer explained that Chelsea wants to live as free from the government as possible, and does not wish to continue using military health benefits.

Life in prison

Chelsea revealed that she experienced horrific abuse in prison. She would spend long stints alone in solitary confinement and was forced to "groom as a man." Her attorney eventually got the Army to pay for her hormone therapy, and they agreed to pay for her gender reassignment surgery.

During her 2013 court appearance, Manning displayed behavior that screamed that she was in emotional turmoil.

She later explained that she was under stress in Iraq and under pressure to keep living life as a man. She had a condition called gender dysphoria, a disconnect between one's gender and the sex they were born.

Just a few months before she was arrested in May 2010, Chelsea, who was known as Bradley at the time, emailed a picture of herself dressed as a woman.

Chelsea had regular sessions with a psychologist and after a lawsuit was allowed to wear female undergarments and receive hormone therapy for treatment of gender dysphoria. In 2015, the Army permitted her to wear a sports bra, panties, and "natural looking" makeup. Manning received speech therapy to "feminize" the tone and pitch of her voice.

Since beginning hormone therapy, Manning wrote that she developed breast and curvier hips. The military refused to allow Chelsea to grow her hair long, stating that it was a security risk.

Letter to Obama

Chelsea penned a letter to President Obama last year and asked that he commute her sentence. She explained in her letter that she never meant to hurt anyone, She only intended to provide information to the public and regrets sending the classified documents to Wikileaks.

On January 17, 2017, President Obama decided to commute her sentence, announcing that she would be released in May.

A bright future ahead

Chelsea is looking forward to life following her release from jail. She has refused military health benefits, stating she will pay for her own needs.

She found that the world is much more accepting of transgender people in 2017 than they were in 2010. She hopes that her story will help those who are struggling with their own gender identity to follow their heart and do what they feel is best.

Chelsea will work with Tim Travers Hawkins in a documentary titled," XY Chelsea." The film will show her journey from Army soldier to a transitioned woman.

Songwriter, Evan Greer organized an online benefit album called, "Hugs for Chelsea." A group of musicians showed their support for Manning to raise funds for her for her living and medical expenses. So far, they have raised $6,000.