LGBTQ

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.

A drawing by a child in Professor Kristina Olson's study. Olson has found that transgender and non-trans girls have an equally deep sense of their gender identity.
Courtesy of Marlo Mack

When Kristina Olson, a psychology professor at the University of Washington, started looking into research on transgender children, she was surprised. It was thin at best.

Data from decades ago said that 80 percent of transgender kids revert to their born gender, but Olson was skeptical.

So she started the TransYouth Project to track transgender children to adulthood. The project has worked with 65 children across the U.S. and Canada – so far. Some are as young as 3.

Jonathan Porretta was the only boy in his dance class in Totowa, New Jersey. Dance was his refuge, where he could shine. He ended up at School of American Ballet in New York City, where he was scouted by Kent Stowell of Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Courtesy Jane D'Annunzio

A dancer stands alone on the stage. He is dressed in black tights only; his bare chest is broad and muscular.

As the bassoonist plays the first plaintive notes of Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” the lights come up and the dancer’s body undulates like a stalk of wheat in the wind. Slowly, he lifts his shoulders, and his extended arms drift up like wings of a bird.

'Week in Review' panel Joni Balter, Matt Manweller, Debora Juarez and KUOW's Bill Radke.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

What should happen to the armed group occupying Oregon's Malheur Wildlife Refuge? What’s the right compromise on guns? When it comes to public bathrooms, who defines your identity? And how do we know Seattle is losing its soul if we can't say what soul is?

Bill Radke attempts soulful clarity with Seattle City Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5), Seattle Channel's Joni Balter and state Rep. Matt Manweller (R-Ellensburg).

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

Rep. Graham Hunt of Orting doesn’t want to see a naked lady in the locker room.

“If I'm in the restroom, or I'm in the locker room, and I'm changing, and I turn around and there's a woman standing there completely naked, and she has different parts than I do – how is that OK?” he told KUOW’s Bill Radke.

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Drew Perine/The News Tribune

Editor's note: On Thursday, June 30, the Pentagon announced that is has lifted its ban on transgender people serving openly in the military. That's big news for Capt. Jennifer Peace whom we profiled in this story from January.

Capt. Jennifer Peace is a tall, thin woman in a crisp uniform, with minimal makeup and shiny brown hair. But when soldiers call her ma’am, she has orders to correct them.

They must call her sir.

The chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court has ordered the state's probate judges not to issue marriage license to same-sex couples — despite a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last year that legalized same-sex marriage in America.

Roy S. Moore, the chief justice of the state Supreme Court, issued an administrative order Wednesday. He noted that the Supreme Court of Alabama had, in March of 2015, upheld the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, who died Dec. 25 at the age of 83, was considered one of the most influential psychiatrists of his generation. He headed the effort to more rigorously categorize mental disorders for the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (D.S.M.), the handbook used by health care professionals.

We usually think about adoption as a relationship solely between parents and children.

It's not.

Before same-sex marriage became legal across the United States, some couples would become parent and child — just on paper — to get rights they were otherwise denied.

That's what Sergio Cervetti and Ken Rinker of Doylestown, Pa., did years after meeting in the fall of 1965. Rinker was 19 at the time and just back from a trip to Europe with his student dance troupe. He says he felt invigorated by Cervetti, who was five years older and a composer.

The Food and Drug Administration is relaxing a 32-year-old ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.

The FDA announced Monday that it was replacing a lifetime prohibition with a new policy that will allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood, but only if they have not had sexual contact with another man for at least one year.

Advice From A 7-Year-Old Trans Girl

Dec 9, 2015
A drawing by a child in Professor Kristina Olson's study. Olson has found that transgender and non-trans girls have an equally deep sense of their gender identity.
Courtesy of Marlo Mack

I asked my seven-year-old transgender daughter to tell me the story of her courageous fight to be seen as the girl she always knew she was. I also asked her to offer some advice for other kids like her - and for their parents. This is what she said.

Pride flag Seattle LGBTQ
Flickr Photo/Cloganese (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1LPdJO9

Bill Radke talks with George Pieper, president of Seattle LGBTQ Community Development, about his vision to create a new community impact hub geared towards LGBTQ people in Seattle. 

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