OkEq Weekly eNews May 16, 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!
Pride T-Shirts are available for $25 at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center!
Thank You For Making the
2022 Equality Gala Amazing!
On Saturday, April 30th, at the Equality Gala, we celebrated our 42nd-anniversary, our largest fundraiser of the year. You and your generosity made it an amazing night. Your financial gifts sustain this organization and help us expand our programs and outreach. Because of your kindness and support, we are well on our way to reaching our $50,000 goal. We hope you will consider donating so we can hit our goal! Click the link above.
Legislative Update
Say No to SB615

SB615 would require school counselors to "out" LGBTQ+ students before affirming information could be shared with the students regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. Any curriculum would have to be approved by the parent or guardian first. Many LGBTQ+ and gender-expansive students seek guidance and support from educators and school counselors, trusting their training and professional skills regarding sexuality and gender identity development. Were SB615 to become law, school counselors and educators would have to contact parents and guardians, "outing" the student before they can provide resources and information.

You should also know that legislators have inserted restrictions on bathroom access for transgender children and youth into the bill.

We need you to call your Senator and tell them you do not support this bill and want them to oppose it.
Third Thursdays in the Rainbow Room: Machele Miller Dill & Lori Decter Wright in 'Tired, Loud, & Over It!'
Thursday, May 26, 8:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
Listening Session for LGBTQ+ Catholics
Sunday, May 22, 2:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

“The Spirit asks us to listen to the questions, concerns and hopes of every Church, people and nation. And to listen to the world, to the challenges and changes that it sets before us.” –Pope Francis at the Opening Mass for the Synod

We are holding a listening session at the Equality Center to provide a safe and open environment to those in the LGBTQIA+ community and a place to contribute their voices to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Rick Martin and Kathleen Nicholas will facilitate this session. Space is limited, so RSVP to Kathleen at kenicholas82@gmail.com. If there is enough interest, we will try to have a second session that afternoon to accommodate everyone.

If you do not wish to meet in person or are unavailable on the day of the listening session, please consider filling out the online survey. The Church needs to hear from as many people as possible, especially those who feel marginalized or excluded from the Church. You can find the link for the survey here: https://www.dioceseoftulsa.org/synod-survey
OKEQ Seniors Meeting
Tuesday, May 17, 10:00 a.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

The mission of OKEQ Seniors is to address issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender aging. In partnership with its constituents and allies, OKEQ Seniors works to achieve a high quality of life for LGBTQ+ older adults, supports and advocates for their rights, fosters a greater understanding of aging in all communities and promotes positive images of LGBTQ+ in life's later years. OKEQ Seniors meets every Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center.
Having affordable, quality health insurance means you have one less thing to worry about. Medicaid offers you and your family peace of mind, and lots of things are covered! Enroll today by visiting healthcare.gov.
Alice Bates
February 24, 1925 - January 26, 2022
Services for Alice Bates will be held Saturday, May 28th at Unity Church Midtown at 2:00 p.m.
First Thursday Art Exhibition:
Jeff Nguyen's "String & Time"
Up Through May
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

Jeff Nguyen is a young Vietnamese artist. He grew up in Ha Tinh province, which is on the central coast of Vietnam. He developed his passion for drawing when he was ten years old. He drew a lot of landscape scenes with pencils, crayons, and markers. His first painting in oil paint was ‘Jesus Christ the King’ (59”x7.9”) when he was 13 years old. As he grew older, he became interested in computers but still kept his passion for drawing. He entered college and graduated with a major in Graphic Design and has been working as a graphic designer for over ten years. He designs logos, name cards, brochures, flyers, posters, restaurant menus, banners, standees, labels, boxes, and media for websites, etc. Not satisfied with that, he always tries to find unique ways to express his creativeness and imagination using different materials and mediums. This exhibition ‘String & Time’ is one of his favorite projects. 

The show opens with The Artist Reception with Jeff Nguyen at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center located at 621 E. 4th Street Tulsa, OK 74120, on Thursday, May 5th, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. The exhibit continues throughout the month.
On the Road with Council Oak
Friday, June 3, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 4, 8:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
Lawyer in the Center 
Tuesday, June 14, 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, May 18, 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, June 4, 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, June 1, 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, June 8, 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
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, May 19, 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.
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
Deputy Director
He / Him / His

Anna Them Puhl
Technical Coordinator
They / Them / Theirs

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
Andi Gunter
Clinic Operations Manager
She / Her / Hers

Donna Mathews
Grant Coordinator
She / Her / Hers
Toby Jenkins
CEO/Executive Director
He / Him / His
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
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