Lady Gaga ‘Devastated’ by Bradley/Chelsea Manning Ruling
When Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years for espionage, theft and fraud, the world was abuzz with terror (what else don’t we know?) and dread (what else can we get into trouble for?).
When Bradley Manning came out as a transgender woman named Chelsea Manning, the world was abuzz with shock. And for both life-changing events for Manning, Lady Gaga was there to support her.
Manning announced her new life as a woman on the ‘TODAY’ show, releasing the following statement:
Subject: The Next Stage of My Life
I want to thank everybody who has supported me over the last three years. Throughout this long ordeal, your letters of support and encouragement have helped keep me strong. I am forever indebted to those who wrote to me, made a donation to my defense fund, or came to watch a portion of the trial. I would especially like to thank Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network for their tireless efforts in raising awareness for my case and providing for my legal representation.
As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition. I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility). I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back.
Chelsea E. Manning
Manning previously said (via Gossip Cop) in 2010 that she “listened and lip-synced to Lady Gaga’s ‘Telephone’ while ex-filtrating possibly the largest data spillage in American history.”
Not only that, but Manning also claimed in an online chat (via The Daily Mail), “I would come in with music on a CD-RW labeled with something like Lady Gaga … erase the music … then write a compressed split file. No one suspected a thing.”
Perhaps Gaga’s LGBTQ-centric fanbase and her historical connection to the U.S. Army leader explains why she was so affected by Manning’s sentencing:
The news of Bradley Manning's sentencing is devastating. If our own can't speak up about injustice who will? How will we ever move forward?
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) August 21, 2013
Gaga has yet to comment on Manning’s transition from Bradley to Chelsea, but we can bet she’ll be nothing other than completely supportive.