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 2017-08-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Trans delegate makes history at DNC
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Stephen Sonneveld
2012-10-02

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


"You know, I have a little saying. It goes, Never give up on your dreams, because your dreams become your reality. That's what it's been for me. Five years ago, I was destitute, and nowhere, almost living on the street. [Today] I'm financially secure, and nationally known. Not bad."

Those are the words of Jamie Dianne Shiner, a Green Bay, Wis., resident who became that states first transgender delegate to participate in a national political convention. What's more, Shiner was elected to attend the Democratic National Convention (DNC) from a traditionally conservative district.

"Northeast Wisconsin almost goes red up here in some instances, voting wise," Shiner told Windy City Times. "And to have the first transgender elected delegate in the state of Wisconsin come out of Congressional District 8 in Brown County is amazing to most people."

With Shiner's credentials, her election came as no surprise. She joined Fair Wisconsin in 2006 to combat a state constitutional amendment banning marriage equality and civil unions, campaigned for Obama in 2008, and served county and state-level positions within the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, including 1st vice chair of the LGBT caucus.

What did come as a surprise to many was Shiner's revelation about her gender identity. "I figure most of 'em knew, but nobody ever said anything," she said. "They're kind about it. They told me later, when I'd come out to 'em, that they didn't feel it was polite to ask a question like that. I mean, these are good people I'm with. Everybody's accepted me now; they know everything about me."

That spirit of inclusion followed Shiner from her Midwest home to Charlotte, N.C., the site of the DNC. The convention cemented the history-making endorsement of marriage equality in the party platform, a first for any national U.S. political organization.

This past June, Shiner and her colleagues helped entrench marriage equality in the Wisconsin Democrat's declaration, saying, "The state-level platforms have some influence on the federal levels. So I played a very little teeny part helping to put marriage equality into the national party platform."

In Charlotte, 8 percent of the entire delegation—486 delegates—were openly LGBT, 13 of whom were transgender. "It used to be, you'd go into these caucuses, all you ever heard was lesbian/gay community," Shiner said. "In the speeches in this [convention], it was gay, lesbian, transgender—nobody left off the word transgender, they knew there was a "T" on the end of LGBT. ... So, see, times have changed. We're making progress."

For Shiner and many other transgender people, President Obama is their ally in creating that progress. According to the volunteer campaign Trans United for Obama, the president has worked to end gender-identity discrimination in the federal government, and signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the first federal law to protect gender identity. He is also the first president to appoint openly transgender people to serve in a White House administration. As Shiner said, "He's the first one who's ever really helped us."

For Shiner, the "high point" of the convention was when Mike Tate, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin chair, "put me right at his side as he read the vote in. Yeah, that was quite an honor to stand there that close to [him] when we cast all 103 of our votes for President Barack Obama—quite a thrill. That's when you know you've made it big; they accept you. Life is good."

Things weren't always so optimistic for the retiree, though. "I spent 50 years as a male," Shiner explained. "Living that way, and you can't do nothing about it. I always thought that's what those rubber rooms are for—people like me. I went out and got myself a job as a construction worker operating heavy equiptment, those tough-guy jobs; Navy SEALs, police officers, firemen—tough guy. That's how you bury it. Eventually, it starts to consume you.

"You realize that if you want to stay alive, you've gotta do it. You also start to realize if you don't do something about it pretty soon, you ain't gonna be able to no more. You're not getting any younger." In May 2006, Shiner said she began facial feminization surgery, and by January 2007, "I went out to Trinidad, Colo., and Dr. Marci Bowers finished the job."

In the five years since a financially crippling divorce brought her from Michigan to Wisconsin, Shiner dedicates herself to helping others through localized political action, looking to be elected seconnd vice chair to the Brown County Democratic Party this winter. "The Republicans have shown what you can do when you control state houses and governerships," she said. "The legislation that can be passed on the state level—unreal."

Shiner's platform is uncomplicated: "You gotta help your fellow man. That's what being human is all about."


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

Hate Crime Summit Wednesday, Oct. 25 2017-08-18 - A Hate Crime Summit will be convened Wednesday, Oct. 25, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the University of Illinois at Chicago ( UIC ) ...


Gay News

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Condemns Trump's Proposed Transgender Military Ban 2017-08-18 - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the American Military Partner Association ( AMPA ), the nation's largest organization of LGBT military spouses and their families, ...


Gay News

Trans advocates discuss military ban 2017-08-16 - Officials from the Trans United Fund, an advocacy working on behalf of transgender and gender-expansive individuals and their allies, and SPART*A, an organization ...


Gay News

EI solicits pro-trans support at state fair 2017-08-16 - Equality Illinois has been in Springfield at the Illinois State Fair, which runs Aug. 10-20, seeking support from fairgoers against President Trump's proposed ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2018: GOVERNOR J.B. Pritzker talks campaign, trans cousin and state budget 2017-08-16 - J.B. Pritzker seems to be everywhere these days. The seemingly ubiquitous commercials touting his campaign as governor might be the sign of ...


Gay News

Hate-crimes summit Oct. 25 2017-08-16 - In Chicago, a coalition of community advocates, government agencies and law-enforcement officials will take part Wed., Oct. 25, in the Chicago Commission on ...


Gay News

Sedaris, Ginsburg, Ailey dancers part of Auditorium's season 2017-08-16 - The Auditorium Theatre announced its 2017-18 season under new Chief Executive Officer Tania Castroverde Moskalenko—along with its new tagline, "The Theatre for the ...


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Declan McKenna: Breakout star on trans teens, identity 2017-08-16 - British singer Declan McKenna is heading for the big leagues and people like Adele are singing his praises. He won Glastonbury Festival's Emerging ...


Gay News

National roundup: Trans-ban responses, NYC beating, History Month Icons 2017-08-15 - The American Military Partner Association ( AMPA ) responded to comments made by President Donald Trump regarding the service of transgender troops and ...


Gay News

World news: Australia and marriage, gay journalist, Pakistani bill 2017-08-15 - Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's decision to come out opposing same-sex marriage is not going down well with his own sister, PinkNews ...


 



Copyright © 2017 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

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.