Community Icon of the Week: Shane Henise

Celebrating Maryland leaders and organizations committed to creating change!

FreeState is proud to celebrate Community Icon, Shane Henise! A passionate activist, researcher and advocate for the transgender community, Shane has dedicated his life to creating social change. As an undergraduate student at Towson University, he is already involved in three separate research labs studying trans* identity and experience, and has two publications. Shane also recently received an award for his research at the 2014 Association of Women in Psychology Conference.  He plans to continue researching sexual orientation and gender identity in his graduate studies. He brings his research and storytelling skills into workshop facilitation and presentations on transgender identity, and has spoken in classes and groups throughout Maryland.

Shane has also been a national advocate, as one of the cast members of “Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word”, which is an hour long documentary following the lives of transgender youth that premiered on MTV and LOGO in October 2014.  He has used this platform to share his experience in the media, and hopes that his visibility will encourage others to live their truth.

As a campus advocate, Shane has also helped shape policy around changing name and gender with the University. He wrote and proposed a petition adopted as student government policy, that implements a more simple and inclusive policy for transgender students to have affirming documentation with the University. Looking forward, he wishes to continue his research and advocacy in the hopes of creating positive social change for individuals who identify as transgender.

He has applied to doctoral programs in Social Psychology and is eagerly awaiting notification from programs to begin in Fall of 2015.

Shane can be reached by email at


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