Those of us who have been using Twitter for years and years know that the platform is generally a hellscape of bad takes, worse jokes, harassment, and down-pointing fingers that direct you to other tweets. But to people who have spent their lives in far worse scenarios—like, oh, seven years in prison—it’s not that bad.
Chelsea Manning is a worthy follow on the platform for the simple reason that she is always happy. Nothing her haters can say ever seems to bring her down, and she frequently retweets their criticisms—adding dismissive comments in which she explains that the world is too beautiful for her to spend even one millisecond caring about their opinion of her. To Chelsea, the mere fact that rainbows, pizza, and coffee exist is enough to distract her from anyone’s negativity.
Take a tweet from Thursday morning in which she showed off a new bathing suit—as well as a new profile in Vogue. “Guess this is what freedom looks like,” she captioned the Annie Leibovitz-shot photo, in which she’s smiling in a carefree, hands-on-head pose used by most swimsuit models. But even after being inundated with cruel, transphobic responses, Chelsea kept tweeting out emoji rainbows. A now-deleted tweet suggesting that a man shouldn’t wear a “dress” was met with this delightful correction:
While Thursday’s Vogue profile describes her as possessing a “confidence that, even in a novel city, hits like sunlight at high altitude,” you don’t need to meet her in person to observe that attitude for yourself. All it takes is a visit to her Twitter feed for proof that she has an incomparably optimistic outlook on life. I guess surviving federal prison, solitary confinement, multiple suicide attempts and hunger strikes can do that to some people.