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LGBTQ

What it's like to be young and queer in Seattle

Jun 2, 2016
A banner advertising the Queer-Straight Alliance at Interlake High School in Bellevue.
KUOW Photo/Mimansa Dogra

The majority of American youth age 13-20 don't identify as completely straight, and most know someone who uses a gender neutral pronoun, according to a recent study. On our Pride month podcast, high school students dive into what it means to be young and queer in Seattle.

Jody Kuehner, left, without her makeup, and Jody Kuehner as Cherdonna, right, with her makeup.
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

The woman with the dirty-blonde pixie cut sits before a mirror.

Plastic bags with jars of yellow foundation and purple and blue glitters sit in front of her. Nine makeup brushes are lined up, waiting to be deployed.


Texas, joined by a number of other states, has filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration in response to its directive that public schools allow students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

The plaintiffs include Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, Georgia, the governor of Maine and the Arizona Department of Education.

Week in Review panel Paul Guppy, Bill Radke, Zaki Hamid and Joni Balter
KUOW Photo,Isolde Raftery

Was KUOW too private about its negotiations to buy a public radio station? What say should the public have in bathroom privacy? Should the private Seattle University accommodate its students differently from a public university? What does Woody Allen’s private life have to do with Seattle’s viewing public?

Donald Trump, gay icon?!

May 20, 2016
Supporters wearing Gays for Trump shirts at a rally for presidential frontronner Donald Trump rally in Lynden, Washington, on Saturday, May 7.
Daniel Berman for KUOW

Donald Trump, gay icon?

For Keian Dayani of Seattle, totally. Dayani is a 29-year-old pharmacist, a Christian of Iranian descent.

Marco Collins, second from left, with Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana  when Nevermind was released. Far left, Susie Tennant Geffen, DGC rep for Seattle (and one of Kurt's longtime friends).
Courtesy of Marco Collins

At the height of his fame as a Seattle DJ, Marco Collins had one rule: be in bed by noon. That would give him enough time to rest after nights of drinking and drugs to be ready for his evening radio show.

Collins was a DJ for 107.7 The End, the city’s leading alternative music station in the 90s. A new documentary called, “The Glamour and the Squalor,” tells his story.

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Eric Fanning to the position of Army secretary, making him the first openly gay leader of a U.S. military service.

The confirmation comes eight months after President Obama nominated Fanning to the position.

"The voice vote approval Tuesday came after Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., dropped his opposition to Fanning after a senior Pentagon official told him that no detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, would be sent to the Army prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, or other facilities in the United States," The Associated Press reports.

In addition to the letter today to the nation's school districts urging them to protect the rights of transgender students, the Education Department provided a long report on states and districts it says are already doing so.

Chinese women Rui Cai and Cleo Wu gave birth to twins last month, following a successful in vitro fertilization. It wasn't simple.

Cai took two eggs from Wu, added sperm from a U.S. sperm bank, had them put in her womb at a clinic in Portland, Ore., then returned to China to give birth.

The lesbian couple is one of the first in China known to have used this form of assisted reproduction.

The birth is seen as a sort of milestone in China, which has become a more tolerant place for gay couples over the past nearly four decades.

Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

After North Carolina's governor filed a lawsuit asking federal courts to keep in place a controversial law that places limits on transgender access to bathrooms, the U.S. Justice Department responded with a lawsuit of its own.

One of the 24 units for homeless youth at Phoenix Rising, a place for young adults ages 18-25 needing shelter and treatment for addiction.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Homeless youth with substance abuse problems will have a place in King County to get help beginning this month.

The groups facing off on the proposed ballot measure are Just Want Privacy and Washington Won't Discriminate.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

A group in Washington state wants to force transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their biological sex.

Supports of Capitol Hill's Lambert House march in the 2008 Pride parade.
Flickr Photo/Angela Stefanski (CC BY NC2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/51aHcy

Bill Radke speaks with Alan Andrews-Katz about why he is helping the Lambert House stay on Capitol Hill. The house provides services and support to LGBTQ youth. For 25 years, the Lambert House has been located in a Victorian home on Capitol Hill. The owner is selling. Lambert House has until the end of the year to raise $2 million. 

Seattle band Tacocat performs at Mississippi Studios in Portland, Oregon on July 17, 2015.
Flickr Photo/darklenzes (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/wbRtLb

Bill Radke speaks with Emily Nokes from Seattle-based feminist punk band Tacocat about their decision to play a concert in Durham, North Carolina, to support the LGBTQ community.

Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam canceled their concerts after North Carolina passed a law that curbed legal protections for gay and transgender citizens.

Skyler Kelly and his younger brother Luke
Courtesy of Tiffany Kelly

"I just always felt like a boy."

Nine-year-old Skyler Kelly was born a girl. But he didn't feel like a girl. From a very young age he knew he was supposed to be a boy. He can't explain how he knew. He just felt like a boy. 

Bruce Springsteen has canceled his show scheduled for Sunday in North Carolina as a show of "solidarity" with the people and businesses protesting the state's recently passed HB2 law, which requires that transgender people only use bathrooms that correspond with their sex at birth.

Demonstrators protesting passage of legislation limiting bathroom access for transgender people stand in front of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, March 31, 2016.
AP Photos/Skip Foreman

Bill Radke speaks with Laura Leslie, capitol bureau chief for WRAL in Raleigh, North Carolina. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Governor Jay Inslee have banned official city and state travel to North Carolina in response to a new law there that discriminates against LGBTQ people. 

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a controversial "religious freedom" bill into law.

The legislation, HB 1523, promises that the state government will not punish people who refuse to provide services to people because of a religious opposition to same-sex marriage, extramarital sex or transgender people.

Supporters say it protects the rights of people who are opposed to homosexuality but who now live in a country where same-sex marriage is a legal right.

Opponents say the law amounts to a state sanction for open discrimination.

This week, Mississippi lawmakers approved a bill called the "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act."

Supporters describe it as a bill protecting religious freedom. Critics call it a sweeping bill giving state sanction to open discrimination against LGBT people.

The legislation, now sitting on the governor's desk, allows state employees to refuse to issue same-sex-marriage licenses and protects private companies and religious groups from being punished for denying a range of services to LGBT people.

It's now legal for couples in all U.S. states to adopt children — regardless of the couple's gender — after a federal judge struck down Mississippi's ban on same-sex adoption late Thursday.

Overturning a law that had stood since 2000, U.S. District Court Judge Daniel P. Jordan III said the ban violated the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause. Mississippi's ban was the last of its kind in the U.S.

Btoo Allami (left) and Nayyef Hrebid (right) met in 2004, during the seige of Ramadi. Hrebid was a translator with the U.S. Marines, and Allami was an Iraqi soldier. "I saw him," says Hrebid, 'and I was like, oh my God, he is so handsome. He is perfect.'
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

This is a story about love and war; love lost and love found again.

In 2004, Nayyef Hrebid was an interpreter for the U.S. Marines in Iraq, and Btoo Allami was a soldier with the Iraqi Army.

Ramadi General Hospital had been taken over by insurgents, and Hrebid and Allami were part of a mission to reclaim the hospital. It was a dangerous mission, in a dangerous city, at a dangerous time in the war. 

Bill Radke talks with Danni Askini about why she's running for an open seat in the 43rd legislative district of the Washington state House of Representatives. Askini is currently the executive director of the Gender Justice League.

The U.S. Supreme Court, without hearing oral argument, has unanimously reversed an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that denied parental rights to a lesbian adoptive mother who had split with her partner. The decision is a direct repudiation of an Alabama Supreme Court decision that refused to recognize a Georgia adoption.

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

Bathrooms in Seattle's public facilities must have gender-neutral signage by this Wednesday.

That's to fulfill a city law in support of transgender people.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray plans to further that cause this week with an executive order that city staff must be trained on how to support transgender people. 

Bill Radke talks with Jade Gee, a trans woman who invited anybody to come have coffee with "a real, live trans person" in Tacoma over the weekend and ask questions about being transgender.

Some churches have become inclusive of gays and lesbians, but for transgender people, church can still feel extremely unwelcoming. A congregation in Phoenix is working to change that by focusing on the everyday needs of its members — many of whom are homeless trans youth.

It starts with a free dinner every Sunday night with donated homemade and store-bought dishes.

Ben Nakamura, right, with his mother at an assisted living facility in West Seattle. He keeps coming out to his mother, but that information doesn't appear to register.
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

My friend Ben Nakamura has known he was gay since 7th grade.

He came out early on, but he put off telling his parents.

Michael Shiosaki and Mayor Ed Murray at a 'StoryCorps' booth in Seattle.
Courtesy of StoryCorps

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and his husband  Michael Shiosaki recount how their relationship parallels the many changes in the laws on same-sex couples. 

Murray decided to run for an office in the state legislature because a good friend asked him to do it: Washington's first openly gay politican, Cal Anderson. At a StoryCorps booth in Seattle's New Holly neighborhood, Murray and Shiosaki talked about making the decision to enter public life.  

Allowing transgender people access to the restroom or locker room of their choice stirs strong feelings. Advocates on both sides of that debate packed a hearing room in Olympia Wednesday.

The Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability said Monday Judge Vance Day should be removed from office after refusing to perform same-sex weddings. Day's spokesperson said in a statement that the judge would vigorously defend his innocence and his rights at the state's highest court.

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