Manning, who now prefers to be referred to as Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, released a statement from Fort Leavenworth prison: “As a trans woman, I appreciate the Pride movement’s significant role in bringing together diverse communities and elevating the public profile of the fight for queer rights.
“I have always enjoyed attending Pride celebrations given the opportunity, and I’m deeply honored to receive this title.”
Not all military activists and service members were happy with the choice.
“They will reap what they sow. You reap lawlessness, don’t expect it to help you in the end. They have once again spit in the face of the LGBT Military community, all in the name of senseless ideology. Once again, shame on San Francisco Pride,” said San Diego-based LGBT military activist Sean Sala, a local news station reported.
The American Military Partner Association, a resource and support network for LGBT military spouses and their families, also weighed in, the Associated Press reported. Its president, Stephen Peters, said Manning’s actions are not representative of many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.