As part of the project A Nation Engaged, NPR and member stations are exploring America's role in the world heading into the presidential election.

Everyone knew President Obama would say something about gay rights when he visited Kenya last summer. Many American activists were pressing him to publicly condemn Kenya's colonial-era law making homosexuality a crime.

Mary McHale

The Seattle Mariners organization is apologizing to the LGBTQ community.  That's after two incidents in which couples say they were humiliated by ballpark staff - one of them at the Mariners first ever Pride night.

Major League Baseball’s own Ambassador of Inclusion, Billy Bean, threw out the first pitch on Pride night at Safeco Field, Aug 19. Bean's job is to provide guidance in support of the LGBTQ community.

Courtesy of Colin Boyd Shafer

Earlier this month, Seattle became the third city in the country to ban gay conversion therapy. It's an issue that touches Garrard Conley close to home. He grew up in Arkansas, the son of a pastor. 

When he was 18 years old, his parents found out he was gay and gave him an ultimatum: Go to gay conversion therapy, or you are no longer a part of this family. 

Bill Radke speaks with Sydney Brownstone, reporter for The Stranger, about her reaction to the Seattle City Council unanimously banning gay conversion therapy. 

Pride flag Seattle LGBTQ
Flickr Photo/Cloganese (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/

Therapists in Seattle will no longer be able to offer “conversion therapy” to LGBTQ youth. Monday, the City Council unanimously voted to ban the practice and fine violators up to $1,000.

Many LGBTQ youth in the U.S. experience some form of conversion/aversion therapy when they come out. Counselors who offer it aim to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Flickr Photo/Elephant Gun Studios (CC BY-NC-ND)

Washington state has formally joined the legal debate over transgender bathroom-access.

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a "friend of the court" briefing Wednesday asking the federal government to uphold its own guidelines over transgender rights.

Pride flag Seattle LGBTQ
Flickr Photo/Cloganese (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/

The American Medical Association opposes "gay conversion therapy" — counselors who offer conversion therapy aim to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Now, Seattle's City Council wants an outright ban on conversion therapy for minors.

For LGBTQ Students, Author Says, Safety Is 'Not Enough'

Jul 14, 2016

Across the country there are stories like this: In a high-poverty area of Honolulu, a high school social worker helps her Asian-Pacific Islander students talk with their families about being LBGTQ.

At a time when LGBTQ concerns in schools are increasingly visible — and often debated — teachers and administrators are looking for new ways to support students.

Washington Secretary of State

Backers of I-1515, the initiative to restrict which bathrooms transgender people can use, have told Washington state officials they will not turn in signatures by the Friday midnight deadline. Even with that initiative falling by the wayside, a bumper crop of six initiatives appears headed for the November ballot statewide.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee wants to recognize the LGBTQ community for more than just one month out of the year. 

So he's issued a directive to promote LGBTQ inclusion practices and policies into state government. 

Barb Brown and Ozzie Wheeler met at the pride parade last year. They said they considered the possibility of violence at this year's parade. But Wheeler said, 'I'd rather come out and risk being slaughtered for who I am than live in the closet.'
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Thousands of people filled downtown Seattle for the pride parade Sunday.

This year’s celebration came in the wake of a mass murder at an Orlando gay nightclub.

Marcy and Scottie Madden stayed together after Scottie transitioned and became a transgender woman
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Scottie Madden made one hell of a guy.

Tough, outdoorsy, a dedicated son, big brother and husband. He led a reality TV crew that took a former Navy SEAL, a Green Beret, and an RAF instructor into some of the harshest environments on earth.

But there was a problem. Scottie Madden may have been born a boy, but he felt he was supposed to be a woman.

Danni Askini, the executive director of the Gender Justice League.
Courtesy of Danielle Askini

Trans rights activist Danni Askini was at our station recently, flawless as always, despite being on a press interview marathon.  

Then our host Bill Radke asked her, "Do you ever get sick of getting interviewed about differences, and minority status? I haven't ever talked to you about anything else once the microphones roll."

Ian Allen runs security at Foundation night club.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

This weekend is Pride Weekend. And with the Orlando massacre on people’s minds, Seattle night clubs are getting special training in how to avoid a mass shooting.