16 July 2011
The most heart-breaking little note in the Bradley Manning/Wikileaks saga is not that Manning was turned in by someone pretending to be a sorely-needed friend, but that through this whole saga Manning – subject to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ and all – was on the cusp of transitioning as a trans women. She1 said to Adrian Lamo (who would later betray her to the US military):
bradass87: i just… dont wish to be a part of it… at least not now… im not ready… i wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me… plastered all over the world press… as [a] boy…
On top of everything else Manning is now suffering (probable life-imprisonment, possible firing squad), she is now faced with the one thing she most wanted to avoid.
1 Manning was planning to begin hormone therapy, and had already begun using the name “Breanna” online. I tentatively assume that ‘she’ would be the preferred pronoun.