When I first heard about you I didn’t really know what to think. On one hand, I was still of the mind that information you were leaking could be dangerous and a security threat to America. But on the other, I felt that if what you were leaking was evidence of egregious crimes we were committing, then maybe you were doing the right thing. I didn’t have to struggle with those thoughts for very long though, because the military told me what to think. You were a misguided, immature kid, a traitor, who did what he did because he wanted attention or was bored. I was told that to look at anything you had shared with WikiLeaks would be a crime and I would jeopardize my career to do so. So I didn’t look at your leaks, and you fell out of my mind. Because you were just a crazy misguided kid, and a lowly Pfc at that. But deep down, I knew that something important was being hidden from me.
Then we learned of your desire to change from man to woman, and it was even easier to convince me that you were out of your mind. What could a crazy homo ever have to teach me? He doesn’t even know what sex he wants to be, what a weirdo.
But I have changed since then, Chelsea, and I see things now that were hidden so cleverly from me. They used your age, rank, and transsexuality to distract us from the truths you were uncovering. I’ve been involved with LGBT equality in the military for nine months now and I’m working every day to increase your chances at a better, fairer life. And now I know that you are not some young irrational idiot; you and I are the same age. I’m sorry for ever thinking of you as anything other than the beautiful, conscientious person that you are.
A month ago I watched Providence, a short video about the bongo truck bombing that killed two Reuters journalists. As the video loaded, I knew this was a moment that would leave a mark. I was finally going to see what had been hidden from me, or what I had hidden from myself. When I heard your voice over the brutal footage, I didn’t hear some crazy, unreliable, selfish voice. I heard the same voice that I started hearing inside myself last year. I heard the same voice that led me to file for conscientious objector status six months ago. This was my voice. This was a voice of conscience.
You did not jeopardize America’s security for your own benefit. You jeopardized your own security to give the human race a chance at healing itself. Thank you for being a beacon of hope. You have lit a torch for all to see, and those brave enough will take from the fire and light their own torches.
I hope to someday meet you in person and thank you for all you’ve done. But until then, I say thank you and Happy Birthday.
Written by Space Man