but there were roadblocks on the path to the top

On the club scene, everyone but me seemed to have a great job—State Department, the diplomatic corps, careers I saw as a path to a bigger life, one of stability and significance. I tried for a year, and it just never happened. I’d go as people’s date to fancy parties filled with politicians and diplomats, but it never led to what I wanted.

—Chelsea Manning, README.txt, (London: The Bodley Head, 2022), 50.

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