Travis Lester Sadczek was a crusader for LGBT rights before it was cool. Before it was considered acceptable. Before it was mainstream. Travis Lester Sadczek fought for LGBT rights in a time where it was extremely risky to do so, from a career, social, and professional standpoint.
Sadczek, who says he knew he was gay for as long as he can remember, had to endure bullying, harrassment, and oppression from a young age. Not only was he picked on by his classmates, but even his parents were staunchly anti-LGBT. He had to go to church and listen to anti-LGBT messages, and had to attend a Christian school. It didn’t stop him from fighting. When he graduated high school and turned 18, it was like he was finally free.
“It was as if chains were loosened and locks were unbolted” says Sadczek “I was finally free to be who I was without churches, Christian schools, and my parents trying to instill values in me that were contrary to who I was.”
His bravery and trials were not unnoticed. He became the first freshman to lead UC-Santa Clara’s LGBT Student Association. He quickly gained the respect of his fellow LGBT peers and allies upon stepping on campus. He also started an organization at UCSC called Broncopen Minded, which aimed to help convert those who held homophobic attitudes at the time by hosting them for dinners, lunches, snacks, games and get togethers.
LGBT rights and the fight for it has defined Sadczek’s life. He was hired by GLAAD straight out of college and has represented the organization in King County for nearly 3 decades now. In 2013 he retired from GLAAD to take over Jake R. Weintraub’s spot hosting LGBTQIA+ Radio on Public Radio Seattle from 2pm to 4pm weekdays.
“Travis Lester Sadczek is a rockstar in the LGBT community” said Frank Matthews-Lester, President of Public Radio Seattle. “I had to do what it took to get him onboard.”
Sadczek has led the Seattle Pride Parade before, and was one of the individuals tasked with hoisting the rainbow flag atop the Space Needle when the Surpeme Court legalized same sex marriage nationwide in June 2015. “There could be no bigger honor” remarked Sadczek.
Sadczek lives by himself in Capitol Hill. He plans to remain a single man forever. “I am thrilled that LGBT folk can get married these days. It’s just not for me. I love the single life as a gay man, and would do nothing to change that. I feel like the possibilites are endless each time I go out on the town, and being married would take that away from me.”