OkEq Weekly eNews February 5th, 2019
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!
First Thursday Art Opening & Exhibit by Mery McNett
Thursday, Feb. 7, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

The February Oklahomans for Equality showcase and exhibit of local artists at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center will feature the works of Mery McNett, beginning with a reception on Thursday, Feb. 7, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Mery is a Tulsa-based artist/animator and a graduate of the University of Tulsa, where she studied painting under Mark Lewis. She has had works shown throughout Oklahoma and other areas. Her work consists of various media, including sculpture, ink, watercolor, oil paintings, video art, etc.

“My recent influences have been neurology and all biological and not-yet-understood aspects of the brain," she said. "There have been theories since the beginning of humankind about the brain, such as the influence of an individual's environment to the chemistry of the brain. In the present day, we know more about the cellular and chemistry of the brain, but many questions remain unanswered.

"I have also been influenced by the imagery of the physical brain, the human figure, and incorporating portraits, showing humanity behind biological matter," Mery said. 

“The mystery and biology of the brain; how are memories stored and retrieved? What exactly are emotions, intelligence, and imagination? How do neurons store information? What is consciousness? All of this is what drives my passion for my current body of work.”

“My work with watercolor/ink and foam sculptures all come from a fascination with microscopic organic matter, most recently, the cells that make up the brain. I find the way watercolor/ink media, when used with certain techniques like wet on wet technique, can be fluid in movement, creating images reminiscent of cells we see in biological studies, such as neurons, which my recent work is primarily focused," she said. "These media, when applied with different techniques, such as the one mentioned above, can be unpredictable, and I find that I have only a small amount of control over where the pigments flow and spread. The spray foam I use for the sculpture behaves in a similar manner. I have limited control with the media, but after I apply it to, for example, a mannequin, the final form after it falls and expands is a mystery. The final form is reminiscent of organic form such as the brain as a whole. It is also fastening because the material itself is something that is man-made and does not occur naturally.”  www.merymcnett.com

A door prize of Mery's work will be presented at the Feb. 7 reception. The show will continue throughout the month.  
2019 Wild Hearts Ball Silent Disco
Friday, Feb. 8, 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

Have you heard of the newest trend sweeping festivals and concerts? It's called Silent Disco, and now you can experience one of these headphone parties right here in downtown Tulsa! You can access all the fun via your free-to-rent wireless headphones. The volume's adjustable, too, so you can control your show. Wear headphones to hear the music at this dance party, or take them off and observe the Silent Shuffle. Come celebrate the 18th annual Wild Hearts Ball Silent Disco. We will have live entertainment in the Lynn Riggs Black Box Theater and a dance floor in the Bruce Goff Event Center. A cash bar will be available, and raffle prizes will be given!
Tax receipts for donations made to Oklahomans for Equality in 2018 were recently mailed. If you have not received your tax receipt or have questions regarding your receipt, please contact Paul Allen, OkEq Treasurer,
2019 Legislative Session
Thus far in the 2019 legislative session, there have been no anti-LGBTQ bills up for a vote. There are, however, six bills proposed that are supportive of the LGBTQ community. Please contact the state representatives who have sponsored these bills to show your appreciation. Please visit our website for information on which representatives to contact and where they can be reached.
The Tulsa Sappho Sisterhood
Thursday, Feb. 7, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

The Tulsa Sappho Sisterhood is an OkEq program for women to share interests and connect. Our purpose is to build a community for women in the Tulsa area. We are an inclusive group for women of all ages and backgrounds who identify as lesbian or queer in any way, including transgender individuals who identify as women.
We will strive for a variety of events: picnics, brunches, wine tastings, dinners, bowling, miniature golf, dancing, camping, hiking, biking, art shows, walks with dogs/dog lovers, game nights, movie nights, BBQs, bonfires, travel, etc.
Our first meeting is a happy hour from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 7th at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center.
Dr. Choate & Dr. Carlozzi Book Signing
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

Purchase the newest book about the transgender community, “Transgender and Gender Diverse Persons: A Handbook for Educators, Service providers, and Families,” edited by two members of the OkEq community, Drs. Al Carlozzi and Kurt Choate!
Dr. Carlozzi is a professor of counseling and counseling psychology at Oklahoma State University and director of the OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center. He is licensed as a psychologist and marital and family therapist in Oklahoma and has maintained a part-time private practice for many years, providing psychological services to transgender and gender diverse clients and their families.
Dr. Choate is an associate professor and department chair of psychology and counseling at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. He is a licensed psychologist, school counselor, and school psychologist for the state of Oklahoma and has long provided mental health services for the LGBTQ+ community at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center.
SAGE Program for Older Adults
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 10:00 a.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 East 4th Street, Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

I n honor of Black History Month, SAGE will host retired state Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, who has spent a lifetime in public service. As a social worker, educator, school board member and state lawmaker, she defined a generation of black activists and public servants. In 2004, she was the only state legislator from Tulsa to vote against the ban on same-sex marriage, becoming a hero for the LGBTQ community. In 2013, Judy received OkEq's Legislative Ally award at the Equality Gala.
Equality Business Alliance Mixer
Wednesday, Feb. 20, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Fifteenth and Home Furniture and Design Services
 1512 E. 15th St.
Tulsa, OK 74120

Alycia Williams Therapy is partnering with Fifteenth and Home to sponsor this month's Equality Business Alliance Mixer.

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, send an email to  jose.vega@okeq.org  for more information.
Third Thursdays in the Rainbow Room
Thursday, Feb. 21, 8:00 p.m.
Lynn Riggs Black Box Theater
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
LGBTQ+ Veterans Town Hall
Friday, Feb. 22, 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

All LGBTQ+ Veterans are invited to join OKEQ and Tulsa's Veteran's organization for a town hall meeting at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center.

Any questions please email Jose.vega@okeq.org
Tulsa's Interracial Social Connections Movie Night
Friday, Feb. 22, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

"Don't be afraid to expand yourself, to step out of your comfort zone. That's where the joy and the adventure lie." -Herbie Hancock
Tulsa's Interracial Social Connections group is for anyone who is interested in enjoying a more diverse social community, in appreciation of all ethnicities, genders, ages, cultures, beliefs, abilities, sexual orientation, etc. Singles and/or couples are welcome as we explore our enlightening differences and surprising similarities.
Future events will include cultural events, social networking, live performances, community service, ethnic restaurant explorations, day trips, gallery receptions, potluck dinners, tours, travel, movie meets, business networking and much more!
February Pride Bingo
Saturday, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

Tulsa Pride Bingo is the best bingo ever, and it always sells out, so reserve your spot now!
The beautiful and glamorous Nicole Carrington will fly in from Las Vegas, and she has invited Rainbow Granny and Trailer Trash Teresa to join her for our Bingo bash!  

Writing Warriors
Every Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

Hosted by published author Amy Romine, our weekly meet-up will include discussion, debating and brainstorming and will get your creative writing juices flowing. Topics will include the kernel idea, building solid plots and characters, blogging, marketing your book on social media and many others. We are looking for all types of writers – novice, published and the “I'm-a-gonna's.” Also, all genres are invited – poets, bloggers, screenwriters, novelists, short story writers, etc. We are all writers and can learn so much from each other. All are welcome. This is not a critique group; this is an educational resource support group.

Contact Amy at amyromine@outlook.com for more information or any questions.
Ladies Social Club
Second Friday of the Month, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 E. 4th St., Pride Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

Tulsa Metro Softball League

Knock the dust off your softball bat and get ready for a fun season of softball with Tulsa Metro Softball League!

Sign-up information will be coming soon for our 2019 Spring softball season. The league is open to anyone, regardless of skill level, who wants to come out and have a good time! If you are joining by yourself, we can find a team for you and if you have a group, you can start your own team! Before the start of the season, we will schedule a play-day to get to know one another and to answer any questions. 

If you have any questions please let us know:
email: tmslcommissioner@yahoo.com or 
visit our Facebook page-  https://www.facebook.com/Tulsasoftball/

Tulsa Metro Softball League is dedicated to the promotion of amateur softball for all persons regardless of age, race, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or national origin, with special emphasis placed on the participation of members of the Gay Community of the Tulsa Metro Area.
AIDS Quilt Narratives Wanted

The Dennis R. Neill Equality Center and Jeremy Stevens, program director of the Orbit Initiative for the Tulsa PAC, are asking anyone who knew and/or loved someone who died of AIDS to record their narratives for archival and future use. This project is for anyone affected by the AIDS crisis whose stories are connected to Tulsa. All of these stories deserve to be told.
Those who are interested in having a story recorded are asked to contact Stevens at the Tulsa PAC at (918) 596-7119 or  jeremystevens@cityoftulsa.org  or Oklahomans for Equality Program Director Jose Vega at (918) 743-4297 or   jose.vega@okeq.org .
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. 
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 Essential Dykes to Watch Out For"
From the author of Fun Home -- the lives, loves, and politics of cult fav characters Mo, Lois, Sydney, Sparrow, Ginger, Stuart, Clarice, and others

For twenty-five years Bechdel’s path-breaking Dykes to Watch Out For strip has been collected in award-winning volumes (with a quarter of a million copies in print), syndicated in fifty alternative newspapers, and translated into many languages. Now, at last, The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For gathers a “rich, funny, deep and impossible to put down” (Publishers Weekly) selection from all eleven Dykes volumes. Here too are sixty of the newest strips, never before published in book form.
Equality Center Pride Store

The OkEq Pride Store now has Two-Spirit Pride Flags!

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. 
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 
Thursday, Feb. 21 7:00 p.m.

Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
 All Oklahomans for Equality board meetings are open to all OkEq members
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
February 13th
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.
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 
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
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.
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.
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
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