The organizers of San Francisco Pride have apologized to WikiLeaks whistle-blower Chelsea Manning for not naming her as last year’s grand marshal.
In 2013 April Manning was picked as one of the several grand marshals for the end of June event. Approximately 24 hours after the choice was made public Lisa L. Williams, San Francisco Pride board president, rescinded it.
According to the Advocate the board’s new president, Gary Virginia, released a statement saying last year’s nomination process was ‘mishandled.’
‘Even with this controversy, thousands of Manning supporters in the 2013 Pride Parade represented the largest non-corporate, walking contingent in the parade, Virginia said, in a statement, according to the Advocate.
‘I want to publicly apologize to Chelsea Manning and her supporters on behalf of SF Pride, and we look forward to a proper honor this year,’ the board chair continued.
On the parade’s website, Manning is listed as this year’s honorary grand marshal.
The former Army private, who is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking more than 700,000 secret military documents while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, released a statement through the Chelsea Manning Support Network.
‘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,’ Manning wrote. ‘I have always enjoyed attending Pride celebrations given the opportunity, and I’m deeply honored to receive this title.’
In the statement, the ex-private noted she uses an asterisk after trans ‘to denote not only transgender men and women, but also those who identify outside of a gender binary.’
This year’s San Francisco parade is on 29 June.