OkEq Weekly eNews June 27, 2022
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!
Norman Kopp has Sponsored the Day In honor of Toby Jenkins' 25 years of Service to Oklahomans for Equality!
Thank You For An Amazing Pride Weekend!
You made Tulsa Pride wonderful! We had the most parade entries, sponsors, vendors, and runners in the Rainbow Run in Tulsa Pride history! We're thankful to you all for treating one another with kindness and respect. We did not have any major incidents and everyone affected by the heat has recovered well. Special thank you to our amazing volunteers as well as our dedicated board and staff!

Pride may have come to an end, but we can still continue to support one another and uplift our community. If you are in need of support, come down to the Equality Center to learn about our amazing programs and
The Equality Center will be closed Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday to allow our staff to recover from Pride. We will open Wednesday, June 29th. See you then!
OKEQ Seniors Summer Pool Party
Tuesday, June 28, 10:00 a.m.
RSVP for the address
Members should meet on Tuesday, June 28, at 10:00 a.m. at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center if they want to carpool to the party. Lunch at the pool party will be burgers and hot dogs. Participants are encouraged to bring side dishes, desserts, and drinks. The pool has a shallow end and a railing with steps to help people into the pool.

If you would like to attend, please email toby.jenkins@okeq.org to RSVP. Put "Pool Party" in the subject line.
Library News!
Dear Readers:

OUR VOICES. Throughout not just the history of the world but our own personal history, people have tried to repress, criminalize, or shame us. Recent legislative and judicial moves are trying to erase progress that we have made in attaining our human and civil rights over the past few decades. This includes the removal of LGBTQIA++ materials from schools and libraries. 

I decided to come back to my previously-held position as the librarian for the Nancy & Joe McDonald Rainbow Library because I was angry about what was happening and knew I could do something about it. I knew our library could be strong where publicly-funded institutions were vulnerable. While other places are getting rid of queer materials, we can add them. There are more and more people losing access to representation and identity/sexuality-based resources. We have that access and those resources. We can have more.

This is the fuel behind the newly kickstarted library fundraising campaign “Our Voices.” Throughout the coming year, there will be opportunities to share your voice in support of this campaign. I encourage you to think about what voices have impacted you and how your voice can impact others. 

Your Voice Belongs.
Your Voice is Valid.
Vindicate Your Voice.
Publicize Your Voice.

There are many ways you can be a part of this mission: 1) Make a monetary donation to the library. All donations go towards purchasing new books. 2) Sponsor the library catalog for a month with a targeted donation, for as little as $10/month. 3) Volunteer to help. Our immediate need is for detail-oriented people to shelf-read and verify database information. 4) Sign up for a library card. Circulation statistics matter in external funding opportunities. 

And as always, I’m available to talk about how we are going to make our little Rainbow library a megaphone of Pride.

Thank you for your support. 
Michelle Simmons
Librarian, Nancy & Joe McDonald Rainbow Library
michelle.simmons@okeq.org

Housing Solutions works to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring in Tulsa. The Landlord-Tenant Resource Center (LTRC) division works to stop homelessness before it starts by providing information and resources that can help keep our neighbors safe and stably housed. The LTRC offers tenant rights and responsibilities education, resource information, direct referrals to legal service providers, community outreach, and more. The LTRC also facilitates the Social Services Hub (Hub), Tulsa County’s only eviction diversion program. The Hub runs in conjunction with the Tulsa County eviction docket Monday through Thursday from 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. at Iron Gate (501 W. Archer). If you have received a late notice or an eviction summons, please attend the Hub for in-person assistance and learn about resources and options.

The LTRC will be onsite at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m., and Thursday evenings beginning at 5:00 p.m. to assist with tenant rights education, eviction prevention resources (including emergency rental assistance), and access to case management services. No appointment is necessary. Please bring a photo ID (does NOT need to be current or US-issued), any late notices or summons you’ve received, and any utility bills you need assistance with.
It’s #PRIDE Month. Let’s talk about Medicaid. Medicaid offers free or low-cost health insurance so you’re protected in case of injury or sickness. Go to healthcare.gov to enroll. #PrideMonth #MedicaidMatters
Lawyer in the Center 
Tuesday, July 12, 5:30 p.m. 
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

Julie L. Goree with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma is available for drop-in discussions regarding legal issues. It is a first-come, first-serve basis. Please be patient and prepared to wait your turn. 

Julie can answer basic questions on any matter that Legal Aid covers. So divorces, paternity, child custody, protective orders, child support, guardianships, housing, expungements, Wills/Estates, and Social Security.  Legal Aid does not cover criminal,  personal injury, or worker's comp. However, she has some knowledge about those fields of law.  

If the question is beyond her knowledge, she can take the person's phone number and call them back after discussing it with another Legal Aid attorney. She also will accept questions via email or phone if someone does not feel comfortable getting out or coming in. Email is julie.goree@laok.org. Office phone is (918) 295-9429.
Pre-OP/Post-OP Support Group
Wednesday, July 20, 6:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

This support group is for women who have gone through gender affirmation surgery or who are on the road to getting surgery. This serves as a place to discuss some of the concerns and changes after surgery as well as share resources amongst one another. A first-time interview is required before attending. Please contact us below to set this up or to ask any questions.
Tulsa County Community Priorities Survey

Tulsa County residents:

Check out this survey opportunity from our friends at Tulsa County Extension and the OSU-Tulsa Center for Public Life!

Tulsa County Extension and the OSU-Tulsa Center for Public Life want to focus resources and build partnerships that address the issues that are most important to the people in Tulsa.

Take a few moments to take a survey to share what issues are most important to you and your community using an option below:
LGBTQ+ Parent Support Group
Co-Hosted by PFLAG and OKEQ
Saturday, July 2, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

Join OKEQ and PFLAG for our new support group for parents of LGBTQ+ teens. This group will meet monthly on the first Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Coffee and cookies will be provided. 
Post Name / Gender Marker Change Workshop
Wednesday, July 6, 5:30 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

Getting your name/gender court order is just the first part of correcting your information. This workshop is intended for those looking for what are the next steps to take.
Name and Gender Marker Change Clinic
Wednesday, July 13, 5:30 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

Oklahomans for Equality is hosting a name change clinic. We are focusing on those who are in the progress of starting the name change process as well as those who are interested in doing so in the near future. Joshua Payton will be our resource.

Josh has eight years of experience as a practicing attorney and six years in the entertainment industry working for Celebrity Attractions. My desire is to apply my legal and business experience to serve at the Equality Center. I may not immediately know the answer to a question, but I pledge to walk in solidarity with those seeking clarity until we have an answer. 
Fair Housing Legal Aid
Weekly Assistance
Every Wednesday, 12:00 p.m - 6:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

Alyssa Bryant is a Staff Attorney at Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma. Alyssa will be assisting members of the LGBTQ+ community with fair housing-related issues. If you believe you've been a victim of housing discrimination, please call her at 918-238-1650, or email her at alyssa.bryant@laok.org. Please also be on the lookout for upcoming announcements on fair housing presentations, which will be open to the public.

These legal services are open to everyone regardless of income or whether or not they are part of the LGBTQ+ community.
The overwhelming majority of Americans support the #EqualityAct. So let's make our message clear: Contact your Senator today and tell them to #PassTheEqualityAct! Call 888-439-0303 to get started. 
 
The Equality Act would provide consistent anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ Americans in areas like housing, education, federally funded programs, credit, public spaces, healthcare, and more. Tell your Senators it's #EqualityTime. https://lgbtactionlink.org/equality-act
People who identify as LGBTQ+ can still be fired, denied housing, or refused service in many parts of the nation. Passing the #EqualityAct will change that. Tell your Senators to support federal nondiscrimination protections and learn more here: https://lgbtactionlink.org/equality-act

Follow the link below to find your US Senators.
Do you, your partner, or your family members qualify for SNAP or Soonercare benefits? American citizens living in Oklahoma who make less than roughly $19k a year qualify for these free government services, and Tulsa Responds navigators would love to help you get enrolled and support you in the process of using those benefits. In addition, if you have Soonercare but have not updated your contact information with Soonercare in the last couple of months, there is a good chance you will be unenrolled from Soonercare this summer. To get these services or avoid being kicked off Soonercare/SNAP, please make an appointment for assistance at www.tulsaresponds.org/healthinsurance or call 918-900-0918 ext.3 to make an appointment today.
As a sign of our thanks and gratitude, OKEQ is excited to announce that all new, monthly donors supporting us at $25/month and above will receive a complimentary OKEQ T-Shirt with confirmation of their monthly donation.
Oklahomans for Equality and the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center are affiliates of Action Link: Center Action Network. Sign up at the link below to keep up to date with advocacy alerts across the country. 
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 sessions for 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. 
Regularly Scheduled Programming
Gender Support Program
Wednesdays
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. 
 
The program is providing support, education and social opportunities for transgender and intersex individuals.

A first time interview is required before attending your first meeting. Email
Support Group for Partners of Transgender People

2nd Wednesday of the Month at 7:00 p.m.

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. Email alex.wade@okeq.org

OkEq Board Meeting
Thursday, July 21, 6:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center.
All Oklahomans for Equality board meetings are open to all OkEq members.
OKEQ Seniors
Every Tuesday
10:00 am to 12:00 pm

"drop in for coffee" 
Facilitated by
John Madigan
Equality Game Night
Last Tuesday of the Month
5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Looking for something fun to do on a Tuesday night? Wanna meet up with friends and make new ones? Do you have board games you've been eager to play? Then Equality Gaming Night is for you!
Brought to You Bi 
the Letter B 
2nd & 4th Monday
of each month 
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
 
Tell all your friends. The group is open to all bi/pan/queer/fluid+ folks and their allies. Please call 918-798-1054 or email Daniel Buck for more information.
Tulsa Area
Prime Timers
2nd Tuesday of the 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
more information.
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.
H.O.P.E. 
HIV Testing Schedule

 Every Tuesday
from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
2nd and 4th Saturday of the Month
from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
provided by H.O.P.E. Testing
 
Check www.okeq.org for testing dates.
OkEq Staff
In Memoriam
Tracy Allen
He / Him / His
Alex Wade
Interim Executive Director
He / Him / His

Jose Vega
Senior Program Director
He / Him / His

Andi Gunter
Clinic Operations Manager
She / Her / Hers

Lily Piña
Nurse Practitioner
She / Her / Hers
Kao Morris 
BIPOC Program and Digital Media Coordinator
He / Him / His
Shay Brewer
Operations Manager
He / Him / His
Luke Scuitto
Membership Coordinator
He / Him / His
Donna Mathews
Grant Coordinator
She / Her / Hers
Anna Them Puhl
Technical Coordinator
They / Them / Theirs
OkEq Board and Trustees



Executive Committee
Stacy Turner - President
Bob Hanson, PharmD - Vice President
Tery DeShong, Esq. - Treasurer
Chris Brecht-Smith, Esq. - Secretary
Dani Byrd - Member at Large

Board of Directors
Laura Arrowsmith, D.O.
Angelyn L. Dale, Esq.
Joe Guetlein
Darci Hazelwood, D.O.
Elizabeth Ortiz
Justin Ross
Monique Washington
Trustees
Shawna Baker, Esq.
Dan Burnstein
Kirk Holt
Cynthia Phillips
Kris Wilmes - Chair

Board of Advisors
Julie Chase
Whitney Cipolla
Claire Combs
Joann Frizell
Heather Hornig
Caleb Jackson
Michael James
Karen Keith Wilkins, Esq.
Crista Patrick
Denise Reid
Ovidio Trejo
Eric Wilson
Jane Wiseman


Oklahomans for Equality
Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Saturday: 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday: 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
621 E. 4th St.
Tulsa, OK 74120