A series of six profiles exploring the multifaceted nature of Denver’s LGBTQ community, including religious life, childhood and community spaces, ahead of the Pride Festival.
Being a lesbian is weird.
Not because it bucks societal norms. Not because every big company not named Subaru seems to flee at the idea of you. And not because you have a few religious extremists shouting that your five-year plan had better include burning in hell for all eternity. (I’m from the desert; I can handle a dry heat.)
Being a lesbian is weird because you’re born a minority without being born into that community. In all likelihood, you didn’t grow up in a neighborhood of LGBTQ families with the token straight family on the corner. And it’s not like you see your community on the street because, contrary to what some may think, your sexuality and gender identity aren’t necessarily worn on the outside.
- From pulpit to curb in seven days
- The artistry of drag
- The power of a mentor
- The last lesbian bar standing
- The strength of trans youth
- From rural life to statewide advocacy
A preview story setting the scene ahead of Taylor Swift’s civil trial that provided the broader societal context of sexual assault and harassment.
After years of buildup, the civil trial of pop star Taylor Swift and the former radio host accused of groping her starts Monday, beginning a roller-coaster week as the federal courthouse in downtown Denver prepares for swarms of fans and dozens of local and national news outlets.
One-time KYGO host David Mueller, whose on-air name was Jackson, is suing the singer, claiming her allegations that he touched her under her clothing during a 2013 meet-and-greet are false and caused him to lose his job. Swift countersued, accusing Mueller of assault and battery.
Although this case has the public’s eye, it’s not the first of its kind nor the one to capture the most attention. And as the legal battle takes place in civil court, the societal battle clashes in the public eye, affecting more people than Swift and Mueller.
Protesters from the disability rights group ADAPT held a sit-in at Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner’s office for several days. Afterward, I wrote a story exploring the group’s role in history that interweaves scenes I observed during the protest and as police arrested the group.
The protesters held control of Sen. Cory Gardner’s Denver waiting room for 57 hours.
The roughly 8- by 12-foot room felt cramped. The building designers probably didn’t take into account a nine person sit-in that included five wheelchairs — or the supporters who sneaked onto the closed-off floor to bring food and medications.
The protest was organized by ADAPT, a national organization born in Colorado that has fought for the rights of people with disabilities since the 1970s. The group’s demand was simple: They would leave once Gardner vowed to vote no on the Senate health care bill.
Fighting 370 pounds and diabetes at 19, a monumental Children’s Hospital Colorado surgery gave Tray Shinault a new life to follow his passion
A profile on 19-year-old Travion Shinault, the first teen to have bariatric surgery at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Tray was candid about his struggle with weight, depression and suicide ideation. But if you asked him about his goal to one day become a chocolatier, a smile would take over his face.
Last year, Travion Shinault weighed 370 pounds.
In January, 19-year-old “Tray” had one of the first teen bariatric surgeries at Children’s Hospital Colorado, where doctors shrunk his stomach to the size of a banana. Now, the 6-foot-4 teenager weighs 325 pounds.
“My biggest thing was losing weight because I wanted to feel like I belonged in this world,” said Tray, whose goal is 270 pounds. “I can’t speak for all people who are big but most people just want to feel like they belong.”
For Tray, his weight contributed to an on-going struggle with depression that led him to have suicidal intent. But with the help of therapists and weight loss, he said he’s feeling happier.
And what makes his weight-loss tale more incredible is that Tray has chosen a life focused on food. As he tries to curb his cravings, he works at Mesa Verde Bar & Grill at Denver International Airport, he periodically helps his grandfather with his Lena B’s Bar-B-Que food truck, and he’s preparing to return to Colorado Mesa University in the fall to study culinary arts.
Cronkite Borderlands Project: voted first place by The Newspaper & Online News Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
Reported in Nicaragua for a week for an in-depth reporting class. Covered how Nicaragua, Central America’s poorest country, went from regular power outages to steady electricity by growing renewable energy until it provided more than half of the country’s electricity grid.
RIVAS, Nicaragua — Javier Pentzke rests at the base of wind turbine 17 watching paper-white blades chase each other against Nicaragua’s blue sky.
He pulls out his phone to take a photo of the sun poking between the spinning blades.
“I love to see the blades going right in front of me,” Pentzke said, imitating the sound of a turbine. “It’s kind of, I don’t know, it’s kind of relaxing — to me at least.”
The 263-foot tall machine and its 29 sisters at Amayo I and II wind farms contribute to a national electric grid that just 10 years ago regularly lost power for four to five hours a day to the 64 percent of the country with access to it.
An expose on Colorado’s raccoons.
A hitchhiking raccoon hopped onto the hood of a Colorado Springs police officer’s large major accident van as he was driving to the scene of a car crash Wednesday night.
Officer Christopher Frabbiele slowed down and safely pulled over, police spokesman Lt. Howard Black said. The raccoon hopped off. There was no word on the raccoon’s motive.
“How in the world did that raccoon hop on?” Black asked. “It’s safe to say a raccoon hopping is not a common occurrence.”
Raccoons are a regular sight in Colorado Springs, but they’re most often found in attics, crawl spaces and basements when they’re not prowling around outdoors. This hitchhiking raccoon appears to be more ambitious, however.