OkEq Weekly eNews June 13th, 2018
MISSION: Oklahomans for Equality (OkEq) seeks equal rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals and families through 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!
Dawn Sitler
Sponsors the Day

Dawn is sponsoring the day to honor her hero's birthday - Dustin Lance Black. 

Thank you, Dawn!

If you would like to sponsor the center to honor your special day,  click here 
  •   Birthdays - yours, your spouse's, your children's, your parents', your friends', even your dog's
  •     Anniversaries - wedding, sobriety, adoption, court date
  •     To honor a loved one's memory
  •     Special events
  •     Mother's Day, Father's Day, any holiday
  •     Just because
Out of This World Intergenerational Dance Party
Friday, June 22, 7:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Tulsa, Oklahoma 74120

We’ll dance through the time and space, sharing friendship and fun!
All ages are welcome. This is an alcohol-free event.
Wear your best space garb for this cosmic experience.
Free Event
Council Oak Men's Chorale Presents: Encor e
June 15 & 16, 8:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Tulsa, Oklahoma 74120
In 1998, 12 men joined together to perform at the World AIDS Day remembrance service. Now, 20 years later, with more than 600 songs sung, the Council Oak Men’s Chorale is still OUT performing, educating and raising awareness. Encore will take you back to some of your favorite songs over the past 20 years.
Proud Politics
Thursday, June 14, 6:30 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Tulsa, OK 74120

Oklahomans for Equality will be hosting a panel of openly LGBTQ candidates from across Oklahoma to hear what motivates them to seek public office.
Moderated by state Sen. Allison Ikley-Freeman, Tulsa’s first openly LGBTQ elected official, who will share her story and successful campaign experience.
These proud politicians who are OUT and raising the visibility of LGBTQ Oklahomans will discuss the role that sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression plays in politics. They will share their experiences and challenges of campaigning in Oklahoma.
The state leads the nation in anti-LGBTQ legislation each year, and the Human Rights Campaign does not list one city in Oklahoma that scores more than 50 points on its annual municipal index.
The Proud Politics panel discussion is free and open to the public.
2018 OkEq Board Elections
The annual meeting of Oklahomans for Equality shall be held at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center on September 6th, 2018 beginning at 7:00 pm. Presently, eight Board of Director spaces are up for election.

 Nominations to the Board of Directors are made in one of two ways:

 1. Recommended by the Board Development and Governance Committee 
   (Applications due to OkEq by July 4th) 

2. By petition of at least 15 current OkEq members (Due to the OkEq Secretary by August 24th)
At this time the Board Development and Governance Committee (BDG) is accepting applications for possible BDG nominations of those members interested in serving the OkEq community as a Director. Nine directors will be elected. All applicants will be reviewed by the Board Development and Governance Committee.

 Please contact  olivia.cotter@okeq.org  for an application.
Requirements and Expectations of a Director:
1. Be a current OkEq Member and membership fees current
2. Attend Board Meetings on the third Thursday of each month
3. Contribute talent, time, energy toward supporting the mission of OkEq
4. Work additional assignments as required (Assignments are usually made pursuant to the particular knowledge, skills and abilities of a Director)
5. Serve a two year term
EBA Mixer
Wednesday, June 20, 6:00 p.m.
Hosted by Parlour Salon & Spa
1335 E. 11th St., Ste. C, Tulsa, OK 74120
(918) 949-4666

The Equality Business Alliance networking mixers are terrific venues for you to meet prospective clients. Mixers are open to non-members as well as EBA members. Be sure to bring business cards, business information, brochures, etc. Hosting a networking mixer is a great way to showcase your business. You may host at your establishment or use the Equality Center. If you would like to host a mixer: Please send an email to  jose.vega@okeq.org   for more information.
S.A.G.E. Summer Pool Parties
Tuesday Jun. 19, Jul. 24, Aug. 21,
Sep. 18, 10:00 a.m.
1938 E. 55th Pl., Tulsa, OK 74105

SAGE Tulsa will have their first pool party on Tuesday, June 19th at 10:00 a.m. Members can meet up at the Equality Center and carpool to the pool party. Lunch at the pool party will be burgers and hot dogs. Participants are encouraged to bring side dishes, deserts, and drinks. The pool has a shallow end and also has railing with steps to help people into the pool. If you would like to attend, please email  olivia.cotter@okeq.org  to RSVP. The pool party will be held at 1938 E. 55th Pl., Tulsa, OK 74105. Maps are available at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center.
The mission of SAGE Tulsa is to address issues related to lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender aging. In partnership with its constituents and allies, SAGE Tulsa works to achieve a high quality of life for LGBT older adults, supports and advocates for their rights, fosters a greater understanding of aging in all communities and promotes positive images of LGBT life in later years. SAGE Tulsa meets every Tuesday morning at 10:00 am at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center. 

You're not alone

Support group for partners with HIV/AIDS
Do you have a partner recently 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.
LGBT Women's Network July Happy Hour
Friday, July 2, 5:00 p.m.
1820 Utica Sq, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74114

This month our sponsor is Gayelynn Head with McGraw Realtors! Come mix and mingle with ladies you might not meet otherwise, make new business connections, and grow your personal network. We'll have light appetizers and don't forget to bring business cards to be entered into a drawing for a gift from Dick's and Gayelynn!
First Thursday Art Opening
Thursday, July 5, 6:00 p.m.
621 E. 4th St., Tulsa, OK 74120
The July Oklahomans for Equality showcase and exhibit of local artists at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center will feature an exhibit of the combined works by Mark Henry and Jason Reed, beginning with a reception on Thursday, July 5 th  from 6-9pm and continuing throughout the month.
Mark Henry is a budding artist who works in mixed media and acrylics. He started painting on a whim at Tulsa Art Center in March 2017 under the masterful instructor, Marie Sullivan. His lifetime collector of original Art inspires his creativity.  His works in this show represent an exploration of Art, Color, and Light.  Mark is a native Tulsan and currently lives there with his partner Korben Rodriguez and their two dogs.

Jason Reed is the owner of a construction company – his method of escape in meditation became less effective as the onerous duties of owning a business overwhelmed him – in March of 2017, he woke up one morning and said. "I wonder if I can paint?" His research led him to the Tulsa Art Center. He persuaded his "best good budy" Mark, into signing up for art lessons. Marie Sullivan put the brush in our hand and said “You can do this”. Neither of them had painted before, but they soon figured out that Art is both relaxing and healing – of course, some innate talent helped. His style ranges from abstract to portraits and everything in between. He states: “I paint in every style because I have not found one subject or style I love more than the other. Today I paint every morning as a way to meditate. Art stops my mind and allows me to focus on only the colors and brush strokes.  I don’t think I am the best artist, however, I feel that I improve with every painting”.

The show begins with a reception on Thursday, July 5 th  from 6-9pm where there will be a door prize drawn of the artist’s work. The show continues throughout the month.  www.okeq.org
Tulsa Project Theatre Season 2017-2018
Tulsa Performing Arts Center - Charles E. Norman Theatre
110 E 2nd St, Tulsa, OK 74103
Tulsa Project Theatre, the city's only theatre company operating under an Actors Equity Association (AEA) contract, will close its seventh season in the Liddy Doenges Theatre with another Oklahoma Premiere of the rock opera "Lizzie," set to run July 13-22, 2018.
On a sweltering summer morning in 1892 in a small new England city, a prominent business man and his wife were brutally axed to death in their home. Their youngest daughter, Lizzie Borden, was the prime suspect, and her trial was a coast-to-coast media sensation. "Lizzie" features four women fronting a six-piece rock band. "Lizzie" is sex, rage, betrayal, blood, murder, and American mythology set to a scorching rock score.

Visit  www.tulsaprojecttheatre.com  for more information
Good morning!
We want you to be the first to hear about an exciting new event to benefit Tulsa CARES.
Local Brews features local microbreweries, live music, and prize drawing with 100% of event proceeds benefiting Tulsa CARES.
July 26
7pm VIP, 8pm-10pm
at Fuel 66.
Tulsa CARES offers vital support to those in our community living with HIV/AIDS, by providing medical case management, nutrition, mental health, and housing assistance.
Tickets: $55  and include generous pours from local breweries, live music, and commemorative tasting glass.
VIP Tickets: $100  and include an additional hour of live music, 2 cocktail tickets, and VIP shade tent.
For more information and to purchase tickets visit:  tulsacares.org/localbrews
Please join us!
Adoption Information
As many of you are already aware, when our LGBT families go through the adoption process - either one parent in a stepparent adoption or both parents in a traditional placement - a new birth certificate must be issued from the Department of Vital Records. We are pleased to announce that the Oklahoma Department of Vital Records has recently amended its procedures and is now issuing birth certificates with the following designations:
Birth certificates previously were issued only with the "mother/father" designations, regardless of the genders of the parents.  If your child was issued a birth certificate with an incorrect designation of your gender identity, you can get an amended birth certificate. Please contact:
Christopher Brecht
918 -382-1400
You will not be charged anything for attorney time or preparation, but there is a $50 Department of Vital Records fee to obtain any updated birth certificate.
Provider Bias Survey
Sara Griffey is a clinical counseling intern with Bellevue University. She facilitates OkEq's Coming Out Workshop and the Challenging Beliefs in Non-Traditional Relationships group.
This survey has been crafted to better understand provider bias in the LGBTQ+ and nontraditional relationship communities. The information will be used to provide information about ways to better train and educate providers.
All responses are confidential. To take the survey, please go here:
Joe & Nancy McDonald Rainbow Library
" Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community "
By: Andrew Marin
2010 Outreach Magazine Resource of the Year Award winner: culture category 2010 Golden Canon Leadership Book Award winner Relevant Magazine: Top 20 Best Overall Books of 2009 winner Englewood Review of Books: Top 20 Best Overall Books of 2009 winner Christian Manifesto 2009 Lime Award winner Andrew Marin's life changed forever when his three best friends came out to him in three consecutive months. Suddenly he was confronted with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community (GLBT) firsthand. And he was compelled to understand how he could reconcile his friends to his faith. In an attempt to answer that question, he and his wife relocated to Boystown, a predominantly GLBT community in Chicago. And from his experience and wrestling has come his book, Love Is an Orientation, a work which elevates the conversation between Christianity and the GLBT community, moving the focus from genetics to gospel, where it really belongs. Why are so many people who are gay wary of people who are Christians? Do GLBT people need to change who they are? Do Christians need to change what they believe? Love Is an Orientation is changing the conversation about sexuality and spirituality, and building bridges from the GLBT community to the Christian community and, more importantly, to the good news of Jesus Christ.

Find this selection and more by visiting the Nancy and Joe McDonald Rainbow Library.
Equality Center Pride Store
Bowl everyone over with these striking bowling pins.

Be sure to "Like" the  OkEq Pride Store Facebook  page to keep up with the new items and new sale items
Counseling Services 
Dr Kurt Choate
Dr. Kurt Choate
By appointment
Individual, youth, adolescent and
couples counseling is available on a
Sliding fee scale based on income.
Appointments are required
Dr. Kurt Choate, LPC at
Stephanie Miller
Stephanie is a counseling intern at Northeastern State University. She is passionate about working with diverse families and clients, now expanding to the LGBTQ+ community and allies. Stephanie has experience with families, children and adolescents. She believes in helping the client identify and achieve their goals through a holistic approach.
Contact Stephanie at 
  tatom@nsuok.edu  to make an appointment. All sessions are free and will be held at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays or 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays.
Alyssa Pasquini 
is a mental health counseling intern at the OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center. She is passionate about assisting clients who are a part of the LGBTQQIA+ community who experience a range of concerns including issues surrounding gender identity, sexual/affectional orientation, and mood or anxiety concerns. Appointments with Alyssa can be made by calling the 
OSU Tulsa Counseling Center 
Amanda Rogers 
is a mental health counseling intern at the OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center. She welcomes the opportunity to work with persons with concerns related to gender identity, sexual or affectional orientation, relationship issues, mood/anxiety concerns and trauma. She is passionate about social justice and working with the LGBTQQIA+ community. Appointments can be scheduled with Amanda by calling the 
OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center at  918-594-8568 .
Temple Hull 
is a mental health counseling intern at the OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center. She has experience counseling transgender, bisexual, lesbian, gay and asexual persons, and looks forward to working with all individuals represented in the bright colors of the rainbow flag. Appointments with Temple can be made by calling the OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center at  918-594-8568 .
Merrill Reiter, M.S ., 
is in the Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program at Oklahoma State University. She is a mental health counselor at OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center. Merrill is passionate about social justice, advocacy and counseling. She enjoys working with people of all identities and strives to make her sessions a safe place for all clients. She has experience working with LGBTQ+ people and welcomes the opportunity to work with persons with concerns related to sexual or affectional orientation, gender identity, mood/anxiety, depression, self-injury, death/grief, and those experiencing major changes or transitions in life. Appointments with Merrill can be made by calling the 
OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center 
at (918) 594-8568 
Kathy Kavanaugh 
is a doctoral counseling psychology intern at the OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center. She is dedicated to working with clients of all identities (including all sexual and affectional orientations, gender identities, races, ethnicities, and ages) from a multicultural perspective. Kathy works with clients to address concerns regarding anxiety, mood, sexual and gender identity development, and overall personal enrichment. To schedule an appointment with Kathy, please contact the 
OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center 
at (918) 594-8568. 
Mark Taracuk, MSEd, NCC 
is a doctoral student in counseling psychology at the OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center. He received his master's degree in counseling from Indiana University and is a National Certified Counselor. Mark has past experience working with members of the LGBTQ+ community on a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, relationship issues, spiritual concerns, trauma, intimate partner violence, and concerns related to gender identity. Appointments with Mark can be made by calling the OSU Tulsa Counseling Center 
at (918) 594-8568.
Jennie Martin 
is a Licensed Professional Counselor - Candidate and Counseling Psychology Doctoral Intern at the OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center. She enjoys working with LGBTQQIA+ community members on a wide variety of topics including relationship/family concerns, body image, community advocacy, religiosity/spirituality concerns, trauma, and more. She has experience with family and couples counseling and is passionate about advocating for social justice. Appointments can be scheduled with Jennie by calling the 
OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center 
at 918-594-8568 .
Regularly Scheduled Programming
OkEq Board Meeting
Monthly Meeting 
7:00 p.m. Thursday, July 19

Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
 All Oklahomans for Equality board meetings are open to all OkEq members
May OkEq Art Exhibition
The June Oklahomans for Equality showcase and exhibit of local artists features the MOREcolor exhibit.
The show continues throughout the month  www.okeq.org
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
June 20
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
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.
Asexual Meeting
2nd & 4th
Tuesday of every month
7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

It's the A in LGBTQA. Come join us for an affirming, open discussion at this peer-led group for individuals 18 and over who identify as asexual or are interested in discussing asexual issues.

This a place for asexuals to form community. Be a part of the first Tulsa asexual group.
SAGE Tulsa 
Every Tuesday
10:00 am to 1:00 pm

"drop in for coffee" 
Facilitated by
John Madigan
Gender Support Program
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. 
(First time interview required before attending)
The program is providing support, education and social opportunities for transgender and intersex individuals.
Game Night
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 
LGBTQ Veterans Support and Entertainment

1st & 3rd Tuesday of each month
Challenging Beliefs in Nontraditional Relationships
1st & 3rd Monday
of each month
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

This therapeutic discussion group provides a haven for individuals who engage in nontraditional relationship structures, with a focus on internal and social stigmas, personal belief systems, and the struggles surrounding this population. This group is open to individuals who take part in ethically nonmonogamous relationships (polyamory, swinging) and kink relationships. The Oklahoma Poly Network is a proud supporter of this group.
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
Tulsa Indigenous &First Nation Support Group

1st & 3rd Thursday of each month
Live Free!
Coming Out
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. 
Please contact 
ComingOut@OkEq.org  or call 918-743-4297
Southern Pride Drum Group
Every Thursday 
7:30 p.m.

The Southern Pride Drum Group is the only such group of its kind in the world, being the only drum group composed of mainly 2 spirit (GLBT Native) members and their families. They have traveled across the U.S. and Canada singing for powwows, gatherings and Pride events for more than 10 years, with more than 100 years of combined experience singing at the drum. They seek to teach drumming and singing and drum etiquette at the Equality Center in Tulsa and to add to their tight-knit drum family.
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.
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
1st Wednesday of each month
5:30 - 7:30 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. 
For more information contact Jim Scholl at 918.631.2722.
Dissertation Study - Sexual Behaviors in MSM
This research study seeks to investigate if one's HIV-status and respective adherence/non- adherence to preexposure prophylaxes (PrEP) or antiretroviral therapy (ART) is linked to a reduction in consistent condom use, and increased risky sexual behaviors, among men who have sex with men (MSM). It also seeks to determine what stage of change MSM are likely to be in by using the transtheoretical model of change. With such information, one of the goals is to see if there might be points when mental health professionals and/or primary care providers could intervene to reduce HIV and sexually transmitted infection transmission rates.

Please direct questions to
Eric Teeters ( ejteeters@gmail.com ),
or Dr. Elana Maurin ( emaurin@argosy.edu ). 

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.
HIV Testing Schedule

Tuesday  4 - 8 pm
Wednesday  4 - 8 pm
Friday 4 - 8 pm
June 15 & 22 only
*After these dates there will be no testing on Fridays
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
Olivia Cotter
Office Manager
Sharon Queen
Service Coordinator
Veterans, Transgender and 
Indigenous People
Jose Vega
Program Director
Alex Wade
Volunteer & Pride Store Coordinator
Luke Welvaert
Facilities Coordinator
Tracy Allen
Special Projects
Denise Polonchak
Janitorial Services
OkEq Board and Trustees
Executive Committee
Stuart Ashworth, Esq., President
Sharon Bishop-Baldwin, Vice President
Jan Baldwin, Secretary
Paul Allen, Treasurer
Robin VanMeter, At Large

Board of Directors
Christopher Brecht-Smith, Esq.
Rev. Geoffrey Brewster
Sheena Grewal
Darci Hazelwood, D.O.
Marcia Keesee
Ben Matthews
Mike Redman, Esq.
Chris Shoaf
Al Triggs
John Williams
Board of Advisors
Laura Arrowsmith, D.O.
Peter Brennan
Alyssa Bryant, Esq.
Jamie Catlett
Michael Farr
Joann Frizell
Andrew Gordon
Amanda Lowe
Jim Scholl
Mikeal Vaughn
William Vaughn
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