100 Women We Love: Class of 2017

Every June, GO compiles a select list of talented tastemakers, influencers and all-around inspirational women who are making their mark on the LGBT community and on the world at large.

Jana Shortal

Photo by Diana Albrecht

Jana Shortal didn’t set out to break every mold. The television news reporter for KARE 11 in Minneapolis/St. Paul, the local NBC affiliate, tried to fit into the absurdly narrow definition of what women should look like in broadcast journalism. “I spent a good number of years trying to tame my otherness while I was on the clock, and that only stifled my work, and my happiness,” Shortal says. After almost 17 years, she decided to be herself—and that choice has paid off. Today the three-time regional Emmy winner is the co-anchor of her station’s “Breaking the News” and has won over viewers with her candor, individuality and willingness to share her own story. She moves effortlessly from a no-frills interview to a roundtable discussion with six-year-olds about astronauts. “In a society so dedicated to interacting only digitally, there is a thrill for me still in basic human interaction, and then presenting that” to the public, she says. Sure, the trolls still come out in the comments section to leave rude remarks about her appearance—but fans also say she’s an inspiration. “I guess I will never know what [being true to myself] did or didn’t do to my path in my career,” she says. “But I can say with complete certainty now, I wouldn’t change a thing.” —KL

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