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Oklahomans for Equality (OkEq) seeks equal rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) individuals and families through advocacy, education, programs, alliances, and the operation of the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center .
Oklahomans for Equality / OkEq (formerly Tulsa Oklahomans for Human Rights / TOHR) was founded by a small group of people concerned about human rights & equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) individuals.
In the 1980's OkEq sponsored several high-profile social events for the LGBT & allied community, operated a speakers bureau, launched the first gay pride picnic and sponsored the nationally known "Southwest Invitational" softball tournament. With the advent of HIV/AIDS, OkEq sent medical professionals to health conferences to return and advise the community on the transmission of the virus and other dangers. OkEq then opened Northeast Oklahoma's first anonymous HIV Testing Clinic, becoming a state leader in HIV/AIDS testing and education. In 1998, HOPE (Health Outreach, Prevention & Education) became a separate non-profit organization, allowing each to focus on their respective areas. Today, OkEq and HOPE continue their partnership with health testing.
OkEq opened Oklahoma's first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Community Center in October 1996. The Center quickly became the focal point for the community and subsequently moved to two larger locations over the years. In October 2005, OkEq purchased an 18,000 square foot facility to house the permanent home for the community. After a year of renovation, 275 volunteers and over 7,000 hours of volunteer labor, the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center opened for the LGBT & allied community on January 23, 2007.
A focus on advocacy, education and unity, with your support, is providing direct services to thousands in Oklahoma. The Tulsa LGBT Information Line provides valuable resources to over 3,600 individuals annually. The David Bohnett CyberCenter welcomes over 300 visitors every month and is scheduled for regular training classes for the entire community. Our new "Advocacy Alerts" instantly reach over 1,600 people, urging action on important LGBT & community issues, while the OkEq Enews provides updates on local, state and national LGBT issues & legislation. OkEq is partnering with like-minded organizations such as PFLAG Tulsa, Youth Services of Tulsa, HOPE, RAIN and many others, expanding activities and programs for young adults, sponsoring community educational opportunities and providing leadership and vision for the future.
Today, OkEq celebrates 27 years of working for equality with a new home, new name and a new direction. Thank you for supporting the mission of equality with your resources, time and talent. Your support continues to provide our community important resources and makes a difference in our mission of equality through advocacy, education, leadership and unity.