KGOU

LGBTQ

Caroline Halter/KGOU

The tiny southern Oklahoma town of Achille made national headlines last week when schools closed after adults made threatening comments online about a 12-year-old transgender student named Maddie. Now Maddie is receiving financial support from people across the world, thanks to social media.

 

 

Rally goers greeted each other with hugs at the Freedom Oklahoma offices in Oklahoma City on June 12, 2016.
Paige Willett Lough / KGOU

Freedom Oklahoma held a candle light vigil for the victims of the Orlando, Florida shooting Sunday evening at their offices in Oklahoma City. The state’s LGBT advocacy organization welcomed about 500 people to the event.

Peggy Johnson opened the vigil with a song and was followed by local religious leaders, legislators and gay community advocates speaking about peace, healing and love. The June 12th shooting in Orlando comes during Pride Month, and Freedom Oklahoma director Troy Stevenson said that has not been lost on the people in attendance.

two gay men holding hands
Alan Light / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Community and faith leaders in Oklahoma are speaking out against more than two dozen bills they say target the lesbian, gay, and transgender community.

"There’s one that would bar transgender people from using the bathroom in public,” said Troy Stevenson, the executive director of the LGBTQ advocacy group Freedom Oklahoma. “There’s one that stipulates removing education funding from any school system that has protections for the transgender community. There’s one that allows refusal of service to any person based on discrimination.”

Last month students packed around long plastic tables, talking and sharing turkey, pumpkin pie and each others’ company. The event was called Queersgiving. In recent years the term “queer” has been adopted by the LGBTG movement. According to PLAG, the nation’s largest LGBTQ ally organization, the word is used to describe anyone who “feels somehow outside of the societal norms in regards to gender or sexuality.” The dinner gave University of Oklahoma students who identify as queer a chance to meet and bond with each other.