Transgender activist and whistleblower, Chelsea Manning, filed papers to run against incumbent Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) in the Democratic Primary according to an article published by the Washington Post on Saturday. Manning initially gained fame as a whistle blower when she released thousands of pages of classified government documents to WikiLeaks detailing alleged war crimes committed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, after coming out as transgender while incarcerated, she went on a hunger strike when she was denied any kind of gender confirmation treatment within the facility she was incarcerated in. This turned her into a veritable hero to many in the LGBTQ community, especially those who are trans, because our brothers, sisters, and siblings who are incarcerated are often housed with those of the sex they were assigned at birth, rather than the gender they identify as, as Chelsea was, and are often denied medical treatment, despite the fact that the American Psychological Association is unified in the medical necessity of such treatments for those who choose them. Chelsea's hunger strike forever shifted the balance and raised awareness about a unique issue that faces our community.
She had originally been sentenced to be incarcerated until 2045, but President Obama commuted her sentence and she was released in May of 2017. Chelsea herself confirmed the news via Twitter on Sunday:
Of course, opinions about this news were extremely diverse. Katie couldn't understand how a person who had been convicted of a felony could possibly run: