Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-12-12
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Genderqueer 'Monopoly Man' Amanda Werner on breaking barriers
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Sarah Toce
2018-03-06

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Genderqueer, nonbinary, trans, bisexual political activist Amanda Werner made an unexpectedly huge announcement to their colleagues at Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Freedom last National Coming Out Day ( Oct. 11 ).

"I'd been out to several of my friends and my inner circle, but I hadn't been out at work yet," Werner recalled. "It was something I was planning to do, but I was maybe going to wait until I got a new job or some sort of transition. But then when 'Monopoly Man' happened, I suddenly had journalists asking me what my pronouns were—and that had never come up before. Since I was in drag for the stunt, people felt they wanted to ask."

Werner's appearance at the U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing on Oct. 4 went viral. During the televised hearing, Werner dressed as Monopoly Man from the popular childhood game and sat behind Equifax CEO Richard Smith. The effort was intended to provoke a national discussion on the subject of forced arbitration—and that it did.

Throughout the hearing, Monopoly Man played it up, adjusting their monocle and wiping their brow with an oversized $100 bill. When the hearing concluded, Monopoly Man chased down Smith with a bag of money—all while the cameras were rolling.

Coverage from the hearing played on repeat throughout CNBC, NPR, GQ, Time, Fox Business, the BBC, Teen Vogue and other publications/news outlets. Two days later, Werner participated in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" and garnered more than 1.2 million views.

The instant national attention was something Werner had never had to deal with prior—and it made the decision to publicly embrace the correct pronouns that much more important. So, they came out publicly, on National Coming Out Day.

"I knew that I had to more formerly come out at work and explain to people what it meant," Werner said. "When I looked down and saw that it was National Coming Out Day, I knew I had to do it."

Werner is open and affirming about their journey.

"For me, identifying as nonbinary, genderqueer and trans means I don't identify with the gender I was assigned at birth—I don't see myself that way. I've never seen myself that way," Werner said. "For me, being genderqueer means I don't see myself fitting into either of the traditional parts of the gender binary. I don't see myself as a man or a woman. I see myself as a person."

Werner explained that because the public sees a more masculine presentation, it was imperative to come out as bisexual, too.

But was unleashing Monopoly Man really necessary? Werner believed so.

"Make no mistake: Forced arbitration is a rigged game, one that the bank nearly always wins. It gives companies like Wells Fargo and Equifax a monopoly over our system of justice by blocking consumers' access to the courts," said Werner. "The CRA resolution striking down the arbitration rule is a virtual 'Get Out of Jail Free' card for companies engaged in financial scams. It should not pass go."

Forced arbitration denies customers their day in court—requiring them to use a secretive, private arbitration system rigged to protect corporate wrongdoers.

"I spent the last two years directing a campaign to restore consumer's rights to sue banks and lenders in court," Werner said. "Over the last decade, financial institutions have been sneaking what we call 'rip-off clauses' into the fine print of their contracts. Basically this means that if they open accounts in your name, if they charge an illegal overdraft fee, if they leak your personal data like Equifax did, that if you try to sue them—you can't join together in court with other consumers who have been similarly harmed. Instead, you have to go into this secret arbitration system. It takes away our ability to hold them accountable."

Werner and their colleagues decided to drop off Get Out of Jail Free cards to senators to illustrate their point—and then kicked it up a notch with the costume and press. Werner fielded a hailstorm of tweets throughout the hearing to keep the attention on the prize: forced arbitration and what that means for consumers.

"It was well planned, I will say," Werner said. "It came together about a week before the hearing, so we didn't have a ton of groundwork to lay, but one of the things that was most effective was that we had a press release ready to go. During the hearing I was on Twitter just searching 'Monopoly Man' over and over ... so any time the camera wasn't on me, I was on my phone. I was able to see it take off in real time and had a little script basically that explained Monopoly Man with a link to our press release."

When someone publicly referenced Monopoly Man, Werner would "tweet at them immediately."

"Other lobbyists feel embarrassed to get into costumes and go in front of senators," Werner said. "I guess I don't really have that same shame about it."

What will Werner and their Monopoly Man alter ego do next? One can only guess!

Find out more about Amanda Werner and the issue of forced arbitration at twitter.com/wamandajd .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

The Play That Goes Wrong 2018-12-12 - Playwright: Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields At: Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. Tickets: BroadwayInChicago.com . Runs through: Dec. 16. ...


Gay News

152 LGBTQ Elected Officials Call on 116th Congress to Act on Four Key Initiatives 2018-12-12 - Washington, DC — More than 150 openly LGBTQ elected officials and newly elected officials from across the nation are calling on the incoming ...


Gay News

With Kavanaugh on the court, what now for LGBTQ rights? 2018-12-12 - As the reality of a new and intensely conservative Supreme Court majority sinks in, some people are asking, "What's the use of fighting ...


Gay News

Hedwig' tour in Chicago in 2019 2018-12-12 - John Cameron Mitchell—the Tony-winning, Golden Globe-nominated co-creator of Hedwig & the Angry Inch—will bring his rock spectacle to the United States for the ...


Gay News

NATIONAL 24th trans death, HIV lab closing, Biden, asylum brief 2018-12-11 - Three years after a trans woman in her Detroit neighborhood was killed, Keanna Mattel became the latest transgender victim of violence, INTO reported. ...


Gay News

The Second City 107th Mainstage Revue, Algorithm Nation or The Static Quo 2018-12-11 - Writers: Ryan Asher, Tyler Davis, Jeffrey Murdoch, Emma Pope, Nate Varrone, Kimberly Michelle Vaughn At: The Second City Mainstage, 1616 N. Wells ...


Gay News

T.R. Knight talks about upcoming 'Dream' role 2018-12-11 - T.R. Knight might still be best known for his five-season run as Dr. George O'Malley on ABC's Grey's Anatomy—and for the infamous 2007 ...


Gay News

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins 2018-12-10 - Author: Michael Daily, from the book by Eric Kimmel At: Strawdog Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice Ave. Tickets: strawdog.org; $20-$25. Runs through: Jan. 5 ...


Gay News

The Santaland Diaries 2018-12-10 - Playwright: Steve Scott, adapted from the essay by David Sedaris At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Tickets: $15-45; GoodmanTheatre.org . Runs through: ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2018-12-10 - Buttcracker: A Nutcracker Burlesque, ( Sub )version Productions at Reggie's Music Joint, through Dec. 26. Fan-dancing snowflakes, a glass-eating "Calavera Catrina" and a ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.