OkEq Weekly eNews December 5th, 2018
MISSION: OkEq seeks equal rights for LGBTQ+ individuals and families through intersectional advocacy, education, programs, alliances, and the operation of the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center.
Get your house in order and help us get our house in order, too! Go to  smile.amazon.com  for your shopping needs, and Amazon will donate a portion to Oklahomans for Equality!
Volunteer of the Month
December 2018

Phillip Holmes


Thank you for your dedication, Phillip!
Inclement Weather Policy

In the event of inclement weather, please contact the center to confirm the program you wish to participate in will be meeting. Although the center does not close, many times program leaders choose to cancel their programs due to hazardous conditions. We will post updates on OkEq Facebook pages. 
New OkEq Helpline!
Every Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
(918) 743-4297


Feeling stuck? Alone? Need a supportive, listening ear? Make Sunday your self-care day with a call to the new OkEq Helpline! This new and improved helpline has affirming staff available every Sunday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. We are here to provide support for LGBTQ+ people dealing with many topics including coming out, substance use, feeling isolated, conflict with work or family, and many more. We aim to help you address these problems by listening, brainstorming, identifying a goal, and helping you create an action plan. As always, OKEQ can also provide LGBTQ+ affirming referrals for you to put these plans into action. 

All people who identify as LGBTQ+ are welcome to utilize this free service. If interested, please call us on Sunday at (918) 743-4297.
Thank you for supporting this year's Fairy Tree! This has been our 19th year partnering with Tulsa CARES and it wouldn't be possible without your participation!
First Thursday Art Opening
Thursday, December 6, 6:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Tulsa, OK 74120

Oklahomans for Equality’s December showcase and exhibit of local artists at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center will feature a combined show of works by Virginia Sitzes and Mycah Higley, beginning with a reception on Thursday, December 6 th , from 6 to 9 p.m. A door prize of the artists’ work will be given.
 
Virginia Sitzes received her bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2017 and co-founded Art Group OKC. She lives in Oklahoma City, where she is a practicing professional artist. Her work is process intensive; through printmaking and painting, she gives in to intuition and the natural effects of chemistry on paper. She finds relief in being consumed by the moment and visually solves her questions. Her work reflects internal thoughts and processes as well as fun and beauty that she finds throughout the world.

Artist Mycah Higley also lives in Oklahoma City. She received her bachelor of fine arts degree in painting and drawing from the University of Oklahoma. Her painting is strictly intuitive and experimental. She uses color, form, and transparency to create low-gravity spaces filled with organic forms that represent the complexity of people. Higley says of her work: “Painting is my means of working through the complexities of humans. The organic forms I paint represent my love/hate relationship with people. Humans are reflections of their experiences. Their thoughts, beliefs, likes, dislikes and words are what make them individuals. I mimic this buildup of experience into personhood using line, color, form, and transparency. My goal is to create an atmospheric space that forces the viewer to look past the surface and into the center of each low gravity form I paint.”

The show continues throughout the month.  www.okeq.org
OKEQ Holiday Shopping Market
Saturday December 8, 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Tulsa, OK 74120

We invite you to join us for our third annual OkEq Holiday Shopping Market! Part of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center.
If you would like to be part of the fun and be a vendor at this year’s market, please email Jose Vega at  jose.vega@okeq.org .
Falala Ball
Saturday, December 22, 7:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Tulsa, OK, 74120

Join us for this year's 12th Annual Fa La La Ball. Don your "gay" apparel (or comfortable clothing for you) and bring your friends to celebrate the holidays with great dance music from DJ Alex, savory hors-d'oeuvres and a cash bar. 

Admission is any of the following:

Canned goods and toiletries for St. Jerome Parish Pantry
Canned goods for Diversity Christian Food Pantry 
Pet Food for A Friend for a Friend
Children's Toys for Women in Recovery. 

This year we will have "What I really want to tell my family at the holidays Open Mic" in our Lynn Riggs Black Box Theater. Audience members who are amateur performers or professionals who want to perform material with the theme are invited to perform onstage. Performers are provided with a live microphone to make the individual's performance loud enough for the audience to hear. Open Mic is for performance arts like poetry and spoken word, music, and comedy. Small groups, small bands duo/trio comedy duos can also participate. 

The Williams Photography photo booth will be available and we will raffle off lots of amazing prizes provided by our Equality Business Alliance members. Support the businesses that support your community.
Lawyer in the Library
Wednesday, December 12, 5:30 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Tulsa, OK 74120

Lawyer in the Library is an opportunity to meet with a lawyer about topics such as family law (divorce, paternity, custody, child support), landlord/tenant, estate planning, and bankruptcy. No appointment necessary.
Don We Now...
December 4, 6, and 7, 8:00 p.m.
East Side Christian Church
1438 S. Indianapolis Ave., Tulsa, OK 74112

This Holiday concert continues Council Oak Men’s Chorale’s 20 th  Anniversary Celebration with a musical retrospective of past concerts.  Elizabeth Smith Curtis returns as our artistic director for this special anniversary concert. Start your holiday season off with Council Oak Men's Chorale.
LGBT Women's Network January Happy Hour
Monday, January 7, 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
209 N Boulder Ave,
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103

The January Happy Hour for the LGBT Women's Network will be hosted by Saturn Room. Mix and mingle with ladies you don't know, make new business connections, and grow your personal network. 

Don't forget to bring business cards to enter our door prize drawing!
Sisters in Song
Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m.
621 E. 4 St., Tulsa, OK 74120

Sisters in Song would like to invite new members to join our fun-loving group of singers!
 
We are rehearsing for upcoming holiday performances, so it’s a great time to join! We practice every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Equality Center on the second floor.
You're not alone

Support group for partners with HIV/AIDS
Do you have a partner who was recently diagnosed with HIV/AIDS? Have you found a community to process this life change with? Are you looking for support? 
As every airplane attendant says, “Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.”

Having a partner with a life-threatening illness can take a toll on your well being. This group may help you to recognize and change your reactions to the new challenges that having a partner with HIV/AIDS might pose. We will meet weekly for 6 weeks to cover information on HIV/AIDS, process difficulties you may be having with your partner, learn new ways to cope with this change, foster healthier communication, prepare for the future, and better manage stress. 

If interested please email  jose.vega@okeq.org  to join the group. You are not alone.
Here's what you need to know:
  • HealthCare.gov is open for business beginning on November 1st. The FINAL DEADLINE to enroll in health insurance is December 15th. If you do not enroll during this time, you may be locked out of health insurance until 2019.
  • You can get free, LGBTQ-friendly help from someone who understands their health insurance questions. Make an appointment today.
  • HealthCare.gov is the only place you can get financial help and true coverage. Don’t get duped by a junk plan—get your coverage at HealthCare.gov.
What should you do next? Two simple things. First, make sure you and your loved ones have health insurance—if not, head to  HealthCare.gov  now. Second, spread the word. This year, it’s on each of us to get the word out about the December 15th deadline.
Let’s take pride in our health this year and make sure we all #GetCovered. To learn more, visit our friends at  Out2Enroll , the national campaign to empower LGBTQ individuals and communities to get access to health care.
Keep Warm Donations Needed!

As we enter the winter months, Oklahomans for Equality is asking for blankets, socks, and new or gently used coats, gloves, hats, and scarves for our constituents experiencing homelessness. Please bring donations to the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center front desk.
Thesis Research Study

Please consider participating in my thesis research study examining the connection between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) identity, community connection, and resilience!

This study is approved by the institutional review board at Northeastern State University and under the supervision of my thesis chair, Dr. Steven Byers.

In order to be eligible for the study, you must:
-        Be 18 years of age at the time of completion
-        Identify as LGBTQ+

To participate in the study, please complete the survey here . The survey will take about 20 to 30 minutes to complete. You can be entered to win a $25.00 Amazon gift card if you provide an email address at the end of the survey. 

This study is anonymous. The only identifying information which will be collected is demographic information, and will not specifically identify you. You will be asked to provide an email at the conclusion of the survey to be entered in the raffle if you so wish, but are not required to do so. 

Participation in this study is voluntary. If you wish to withdraw from the study, you may close the browser window at any time. If you do not want to answer a question, you may skip any question in this survey.

If you have any questions, please contact  Jordan Westcott  ( Westcott@nsuok.edu ) or  Dr. Steven Byers  ( byerss@nsuok.edu ). 
We hope that you choose to participate in this study and share your experience!
Joe & Nancy McDonald Rainbow Library
Find this selection and more by visiting the Nancy and Joe McDonald Rainbow Library.
"The Greatest Love Story Ever Told" by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman
Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman reveal the full story behind their epic romance--presented in a series of intimate conversations between the couple, including photos, anecdotes, and the occasional puzzle.
Equality Center Pride Store



The OkEq Pride Store has handmade pride flag scarf and beanie sets! Come get yours today!


Be sure to "Like" the  OkEq Pride Store Facebook  page to keep up with the new items and new sale items
Counseling Services 
OSU - Tulsa Counseling Services
The Oklahoma State Tulsa Counseling Center is an LGBTQ+ affirming center located in Main Hall of OSU Tulsa. You do not have to be affiliated with OSU to benefit from these services! Our center offers clients from OKEQ 5 sessions  free  and each session following that is only 5 dollars. Each member of our counseling team receives additional training and supervision in LGBTQ+ issues and is excited to work with clients from OKEQ. Please contact us at 918-594-8568 for more information or to schedule an appointment. 
Allison Ikley-Freeman
Allison Ikley-Freeman, LPC Candidate is passionate about assisting individuals who are a part of the LGBTQQIA+ community who experience a range of concerns and issues. Individual, youth, and adolescent counseling is available on a sliding fee scale based on income. 
Sara Griffey
S ara Griffey is an LPC candidate under supervision. Sara specializes in LGBT+ and non-traditional relationships (i.e. kink, polyamory, etc.). She has experience working with homeless youth and individuals struggling with anxiety & trauma.
She previously worked with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.
She is passionate about advocacy and public policy in order to ensure that proper treatment is available for any individual seeking services.
 Sara’s office is located at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, 621 E 4th St, Tulsa, OK 74120
 Sara operates on a sliding scale fee structure and can be reached at
918-928-2809 or Sara@UnityTulsa.com
Regularly Scheduled Programming
OkEq Board Meeting
Monthly Meeting 
7:00 p.m. Thursday, December 20

Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
 All Oklahomans for Equality board meetings are open to all OkEq members
December OkEq Art Exhibition
The December Oklahomans for Equality showcase and exhibit of local artists at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center features an exhibit of works by Virginia Sitzes . It continues throughout the month.
Family Ties
Family Ties is an official program of Oklahomans for Equality and is a support network for LGBTQ parents and families in Oklahoma. For more information about Family Ties, email  jose.vega@okeq.org .
Lawyer in the Library
December 12
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Lawyer in the Library is an opportunity to meet with a lawyer about topics such as family law (divorce, paternity, custody and child support), landlord/tenant disputes, estate planning, and bankruptcy. No appointment is necessary.
Free Yoga Class at OkEq
Mondays  
5:45 - 6:45 p.m.   

Enjoy a free class! These 60-minute, free Community Yoga classes are open to everyone of all levels. Each class is mindfully crafted to prepare the body for a peak pose in the arm balance, inversion, backbend or twist family. This class will connect the mind, body, and spirit through movement and breath.
SAGE Tulsa 
Every Tuesday
10:00 am to 1:00 pm

"drop in for coffee" 
Facilitated by
John Madigan
Gender Support Program
Wednesdays
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. 
 
(First time interview required before attending)
Email  
The program is providing support, education and social opportunities for transgender and intersex individuals.
Game Night
Saturdays 
7:00 - 9:00 pm
 
 Join old friends and make new friends as you play some great board and card games at the Center!
All are welcome!
Facilitated by
Saturday Volunteers Richard Haley and
Teresa Reno 
Children/Siblings of Trans*/Non-Binary Individuals Support Group
This program is for youth ages 8-18 that have trans* parents or siblings. This group will provide support, education and social opportunities for those living with trans* family members. Attendees must have approval from the facilitator to participate. Please contact Amanda at 918-902-4625.
Inclusion for People with Developmental Disabilities
Saturdays @ 1:00 p.m.
Individuals with developmental disabilities are frequently marginalized and excluded from society at large, and this is no less true within the LGBTQ community. This group’s focus will be to help individuals create stronger community connections through building communication and social skills, as well as learning to respect social boundaries and norms. Members will agree upon no more than three outcomes for social development per individual. Members will work on practicing target behaviors while engaging in events within and without the Equality Center. Group sessions will last approximately 2.5 hours, occurring each Saturday @ 1pm.
It's Complicated
1st & 3rd Monday
of each month
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

"It's Complicated" is an ongoing group for individuals in nontraditional relationships (kink, polyamory, swinging, etc.) This group meets every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month from 6:30-8pm at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center. Each session will have a new topic. For topic information, please like Unity Tulsa’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/UnityTulsa or check the OkEq event calendar at http://www.okeq.org/event-calendar.html
Non-Binary Support Group
3rd Tuesday of each month
 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
 
A new support group for folks who identify with non-binary genders, including but not limited to, genderqueer, genderfluid, agender, bigender, neutrois, genderflux, and more. This group will be a safe space to discuss our identities, receive support, and build a strong non-binary community in Tulsa. For information contact Vic Wiener at 
SOS Group
Mondays 7:00 pm 

This open Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) Recovery and Sobriety Group meets every Monday at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center. For more information, visit  www.SOSTulsa.org
No Shade for Plus
Every Thursday
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

A new support group to bring together people who have found they are HIV positive and those who have been living with HIV for many years. 
The group will provide support, Education, Social activities and so much more. 
The group will be here at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center to provide a safe place to discuss issues and meet other people who are navigating their lives being PLUS. 
Tulsa Writers, Ink.
1st & 3rd Saturday of each month
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

An LGBT inclusive group of writers providing support and resources to authors and writers regardless of where they are in their writing career.
Survivors of Incest Anonymous
Every Saturday
12:00 - 2:30 p.m.

SIA strives to empower those who have survived childhood sexual abuse (who are not abusing any child), who want to become survivors and thrivers. For more information, visit  siawso.org
Partners of Trans*/Non-Binary Individuals Support Group
The program is providing support, education and social opportunities for partners of transgender and non-binary individuals. Ages 18+. A first time interview is required before attending your first meeting. Please contact Amanda at 918-902-4625.
LGBTQ+ History: Interviewees Wanted
By appointment

Do you feel like you have something to say about your life as an LGBTQ+ individual? Recording the history of the LGBTQ+ community is currently a feature of programming at the Equality Center. This program is designed to supplement and further complete our collective history by interviewing participants to further investigate past and present features of LGBTQ+ life and identity. Interviewees will sit down face to face and be asked a series of questions in regards to their person lives and experiences. All information gathered will be added to the existing archive. Please contact Ely at burgesej@nsuok.edu to set up your appointment.
Live Free!
Coming Out
Workshop
2nd & 4th Monday
of each month 
6:30-7:30 p.m. 

Are you planning to come out? Maybe you have just recently come out? Join us for a coming out discussion group meeting in the History Project Room. It's free! This course is designed for individuals coming to terms with their sexuality with presentations on how to come out to family, friends, and co-workers. Question and answer session in a supportive and informed environment. Facilitated by Allison Ikley-Freeman.
Please contact 
ComingOut@OkEq.org  or call 918-743-4297
Brought to You Bi 
the Letter B 
2nd & 4th Monday
of each month 
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
 
Bisexual support group at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center. Tell all your friends. The group is open to all bi/pan/queer/fluid+ folks and their allies. Facilitators
Daniel & Haley
Tulsa Area
Prime Timers
2nd Tuesday of every month
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

A social organization for mature minded Gay and Bisexual men age 21 and over. The purpose is to establish friendship and support through social interaction. Visit
the website  for
more information.
918.592.0088 
Lambda Al-Anon Group
Every Friday
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

This open Al-Anon group meets at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center every Friday at 7:00 pm. Contact 918.743.2754 for more information.
  Intimate Partner Violence & Sexual Assault Survivor Support Group
2nd & 4th Thursday of each month
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

This support and educational group is for individuals who have survived domestic violence and are ready to explore their personal healing process and find hope and to discuss their experiences, share ideas, and provide emotional support for one another. 

Art for the Heart: An all Inclusive Arts Program
Sundays @ 1:00 p.m.

Art is more than just pictures on the wall. Art helps people express themselves, find happiness, and it can help with mobility and dexterity. Art classes foster connections between individuals and helps reduce isolation many people experience. Please join us in making our community a more beautiful, meaningful place through the enrichment of art. Subjects will be elected by members from a range of topics including: glass fusing and jewelry making, mosaics, basket weaving, finger weaving, ceramics, acrylic painting, and quilting. This group is all inclusive, and encourages individuals from all age groups to come together for weekly sessions on Sundays @ 1pm. 
Community Partners
The Equality
Business Alliance fosters a sharing of information, ideas, contacts, products and services, and also strengthens and expands our businesses, careers and community.
Workforce OK
Workforce Oklahoma
Access Point
Open every day
Workforce Oklahoma maintains a resource area at the Equality Center that includes computers, a printer and fax machine, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to register with
Oklahoma JobLink.
H.O.P.E. 
HIV Testing Schedule

Tuesday  4 - 8 pm
Wednesday  4 - 8 pm
Saturday 4 - 7 pm
 
Testing provided by H.O.P.E. Testing
 
Check  www.okeq.org  for testing dates.
OkEq Staff
Toby Jenkins
CEO / Executive Director
Jose Vega
Program Director
Alex Wade
Volunteer, Pride Store, and Transgender Programming Coordinator
Tracy Allen
Special Projects
OkEq Board and Trustees
Executive Committee
Stuart Ashworth, Esq., President
Sharon Bishop-Baldwin, Vice President
Marcia Keesee, Secretary
Paul Allen, Treasurer
Sheena Grewal, At Large

Board of Directors
Jan Baldwin
Christopher Brecht-Smith, Esq.
Rev. Geoffrey Brewster
Alyssa Bryant, Esq.
Darci Hazelwood, D.O.
Allison Ikley-Freeman
Chris Shoaf
Al Triggs
Robin VanMeter
Will Vaughn
  Trustees
Shawna Baker, Esq.
Dan Burnstein
Kirk Holt
David Nelson
Kris Wilmes 
Oklahomans for Equality
Hours:  Mon - Sat Noon-9 p.m. | Sun Noon-6 p.m.
621 East Fourth Street, Tulsa, OK 74120