UrsaMajor saidI'd love to know what GiGi or other guys from Oklahoma think about this.
These kids are amazing and so are their parents. It just occurs to me that there is a reason that instinct tells us to stay in the closet when we live in places like Tulsa or Marble Falls. Maybe I'm just a grandma but I really worry about these kids safety.
Kids deserve to be out and they deserve to be safe. How I wish that those were the actual conditions in Tulsa, but I don't believe they are.
There was some Oklahoma bashing back in the 77% stupid high school kids tread (and again, that study was commissioned by an ultra right wing political group in order to work against the Okla. teachers union), but this NY Times article is a good example of a few good things here. Oklahoma is not all Sally Kern and wing nut religious stuff.
I've known for many years the guys (Tim and Ken) who founded this group and some of the kids too. They're doing great work and have given, given, given of their time and caring. The 14 y. old daughter of a couple of my oldest friends goes there with her girlfriend.
The Oklahoma Equality Center (LGBT community center) is a 17,000 sf building on the edge of downtown Tulsa. It's the physically largest comm. center in the middle of the US and opened about 6 years ago. It's about a 3/4 million property and was paid for mostly from smaller donations from the community....not with big grants from foundations like centers on the coasts sometimes get. The building lacks $80,000 to be paid in full.
Very near the OK EQ Center is Youth Services of Tulsa which works with youth at risk and homeless youth. For some years, they've been helping LGBT youth in crisis/need, including those thrown out of their homes.
Yes, we've got Oral Roberts University (tho' there's for sure gay guys there too) but we've also got the largest Unitarian Universalist congregation in the US. UU's are among the most gay friendly and progressive religious traditions in the States.
So, yes, we've got our idiots in elected office but Oklahoma County elected Jim Roth, an HRC endorsed gay man, to be county commissioner. And there's Al McAffery, a former OKC cop, who's an openly gay member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
Things aren't perfect here but they're a lot better than they used to be....and they're probably a lot better than coastal/bigger city folks assume.
Tom in Tulsa