Herland Sister Resources
2312 NW 39th
Oklahoma City OK 73112
Open Saturday 1–5 pm
Serving the womyn’s
community since 1983
Eufaula State Park, Eufaula, OK
October 31–November 2, 2014
Even though the heat of summer is upon us, it’s time to start looking forward to the Fall Retreat, which is being held at Eufaula State Park from October 31 through November 2, 2014. To celebrate Halloween, we will be having a party and costume contest for both humans and dogs. There will also be pumpkin carving and other fun activities that will be announced as the retreat gets closer. We will still have our traditional Saturday evening potluck before the party, so be thinking about dishes you might like to bring. We especially need entrées, both vegetarian and carnivore. As always, we need volunteers to help get groceries, help with registration, transport tubs of “stuff,” build campfires, manage meals and clean–ups, AND pack and transport items back to OKC. Be thinking of your turn to volunteer too.
**Please make note of a couple of changes. First, anyone who brings a dog to the retreat must sign a form stating that they are responsible for any damage or injuries their dog may cause. We have had incidents in the past and need to make sure that the retreat is safe and fun for everyone. Also, for this retreat only, boys aged 11 and under will be allowed to attend. This is a slight departure from our traditional rule of 10 and under. This change is only effective for this upcoming retreat so that parents with slightly older boys can celebrate Halloween with their children.
Registration information and workshop offerings will be announced in the coming weeks, so stay alert for the details!
by Sandy Ingraham, J.D., M.S.W.
Things are changing FAST!
As you already know, on the 26th day of June, 2013, the heart of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was invalidated by the US Supreme Court (hereafter SCOTUS–Supreme Court of the United States) in United States v Windsor, 133 S Ct 2675, 570 US 12Fs, L Ed 2d 808 (2013) (hereinafter Windsor). At that time, SCOTUS indicated it was not then taking a position on the validity of state laws forbidding same–sex marriage. Since Windsor, twenty (20) federal trial courts have ruled against state same–sex marriage bans. Oklahoma was among those courts.
Oklahomans Mary Bishop, Sharon Baldwin, Susan Barton, and Gay Phillips, through their attorney Don Holladay and his Oklahoma City law firm, Holladay and Chilton, PLLC, (along with co–counsels James Warner and Joseph Thai) litigated Bishop, et al v USA, 04–CV–848–TCK–TLW (hereinafter Bishop) in Oklahoma’s federal district court. In Bishop, US District Judge Terrence C Kern (Tulsa) struck down Oklahoma’s conservative constitutional provision denying same–sex couples the right to legally marry in Oklahoma and have legal same–sex marriages performed in other states recognized in Oklahoma. Holladay and his legal team worked tirelessly and without compensation to defend the Oklahoma ruling in the 10th Circuit Federal Appeals Court in Denver, CO (covering Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah and those parts of Yellowstone National Park which extend into Montana and Idaho), where it was argued along with Utah’s similar case, Kitchen v Herbert, No. 2:13–ev–217, 2013 WL 6697874 (D Utah Dec 20, 2013) (hereinafter Kitchen). Both Kitchen and Bishop prevailed, making Oklahoma’s 10th Circuit Court of Appeals the first federal appellate court to rule that state bans against same–sex marriage violated the federal constitution–more rulings are expected. Attorney Joseph Thai, a member of Oklahoma’s legal team supporting Bishop, said that the Bishop ruling was “pro–equity, pro–family, pro–society and pro–Oklahoma.” Kitchen, Bishop, and the 10th Circuit Federal Appeals Court forever changed Oklahoma law for the better. Both Kitchen and Bishop allow same–sex couples to marry in Oklahoma, and Kitchen arguably allows same–sex marriages legally performed elsewhere to be recognized in Oklahoma. The impact of both rulings will be delayed pending any appeal of a same–sex marriage case heard before SCOTUS.
It is expected that the Defendant /Appellants in both Kitchen and Bishop will file an appeal and challenge the rulings to SCOTUS. The Bishop case must be appealed within ninety (90) days of its July 18, 2014, ruling.
The next step is for a SCOTUS appeal (a petition for certiorari) to be filed in a case or cases addressing same–sex marriage rights. Then it is expected that SCOTUS will decide whether to accept one or more of the cases or not grant a review (four Supreme Court justices must vote to review a lower court ruling). In 2006, seven years before SCOTUS’s Windsor ruling, the 8th Circuit Appeals Court (covering Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) upheld Nebraska’s same–sex marriage ban [See Citizens for Equal Prot. v. Bruning, 455 F3d 859 (8th Cir 2006).]. In an effort to avoid a legal patchwork of different result in various states, SCOTUS usually grants review of Appeal Court rulings when there is a disagreement between or among rulings in various Appeal Courts. This disagreement between the 8th circuit and the 10th circuit may provide a basis for Supreme Court review. Since SCOTUS has signaled its willingness to take a same–sex marriage case from one or more of the states, it is expected to file a “writ of certiorari” which accepts the case for their review. By the time SCOTUS makes its decision on whether to review, it is expected there will be additional cases before them. There is a strong possibility that among the cases accepted for SCOTUS review will be Oklahoma’s Bishop case. SCOTUS may decide whether to accept an appeal on this matter in late 2014 and hear the appeal in early 2015 (SCOTUS is on its summer hiatus until October 2014.). Oklahoma same–sex marriage will be on hold until SCOTUS decides. Pro–same–sex marriage advocates in Oklahoma are optimistic.
However, there is no certainty here. SCOTUS may not take a same–sex marriage case at this time. SCOTUS may deny review (certiorari) and decide to wait for additional appeal court rulings. If SCOTUS denies certiorari, the Appeal Court ruling will stand and become the law in the states those courts cover, making same–sex marriage legal in Oklahoma. If SCOTUS waits and all circuits rule, theoretically, SCOTUS may never get involved, with the matter being decided for them. SCOTUS may uphold state same–sex marriage bans. Anti–same–sex marriage advocates are quick to point out that SCOTUS placed a stay on same–sex marriages in Kitchen, pending SCOTUS review, and such is typically only done when it is likely SCOTUS will overturn the lower court in the matter it is reviewing.
Regardless of what happens next, same–sex marriage in Oklahoma will be on hold until SCOTUS rules or decides to not review this issue. Again, pro–same–sex marriage advocates in Oklahoma are optimistic.
[Photo Identification: Lead attorney Don Holladay talking with Kathleen Wallace and Beverly Evans at a gathering celebrating Oklahoma’s Bishop ruling.]
Nothing in this article creates an attorney–client relationship or constitutes legal advice for any particular family or partnership. For such advice, consult with an attorney licensed to practice in Oklahoma about your specific situation.
Sandy Ingraham, J.D., M.S.W. may be reached at Ingraham & Associates, P.L.L.C., 333629 E Kickapoo Valley Rd, McLoud, OK 74851; Tel (405) 964–2072; Fax (405) 964–2058; e–mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CODEPINK, will speak to the public at Church of the Open Arms, 3131 N Pennsylvania Ave, OKC, at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 12th. CODEPINK is a women–initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end US funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally, and to redirect our resources into health care, education, green jobs, and other life–affirming activities. Herland Sister Resources is one of the sponsors along with Americans Against the Next War, the Peace House, and Church of the Open Arms. The event is free and open to the public.
International Friendship Day is a day for celebrating friendship. The day has been celebrated in several southern South American countries for many years, particularly in Paraguay, where the first World Friendship Day was proposed in 1958. Initially created by the greeting card industry, evidence from social networking sites shows a revival of interest in the holiday that may have grown with the spread of the Internet, particularly in India, Bangladesh, and Malaysia.
Those who promote the holiday in South Asia attribute the tradition of dedicating a day in honor of friends to have originated in the US in 1935, but it actually dates from 1919. The exchange of Friendship Day gifts like flowers, cards, and wrist bands is a popular tradition of this occasion.
Friendship Day celebrations occur on different dates in different countries. The first World Friendship Day was proposed for July 30th,1958; on April 27th, 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared July 30th as official International Friendship Day. However, some countries, including India, celebrate Friendship Day on the first Sunday of August. It’s one of the most popular events of the world especially to the youth community who want to dedicate this complete day to their most special friends by sharing friendship day quotes. [selected portions from Wikipedia]
Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund will speak on Wednesday, September 24, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. at the Henry J. Freede Wellness & Activity Center, NW 27 St and Florida Ave, OKC, OK.
Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans for her entire professional life. Under her leadership, CDF has become the nation’s strongest voice for children and families. The Children’s Defense Fund’s Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.
Mrs. Edelman, a graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, began her career in the mid–60s when, as the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, she directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, MS. In l968, she moved to Washington, DC, as counsel for the Poor People’s Campaign that Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, began organizing before his death. She founded the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm, and the parent body of the Children’s Defense Fund. For two years, she served as the Director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University and in l973 began CDF.
In 2000, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award for her writings which include: Families in Peril: An Agenda for Social Change; The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours; Guide My Feet: Meditations and Prayers on Loving and Working for Children; Stand for Children; Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors; Hold My Hand: Prayers for Building a Movement to Leave No Child Behind; I’m Your Child, God: Prayers for Our Children; I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire Our Children; and The Sea Is So Wide and My Boat Is So Small: Charting a Course for the Next Generation.
Marian Wright Edelman is married to Peter Edelman, a Professor at Georgetown Law School. They have three sons, Joshua, Jonah, and Ezra, two granddaughters, Ellika and Zoe, and two grandsons, Elijah and Levi. The speaker series event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. For more information, call (405) 208–4596.
Sisters, Friends, and Comrades!
Summer is officially here, and it is the week of the gathering of our tribe in the woods of Michigan. If you haven’t made your future plans, next year is the year to do it! Gay pride is glowing all over the world in June, but August each year, we shimmer and shine in the celebration of our most beloved community–a unity of sisters from all walks of life and loves strutting the broadest expression of female you can experience anywhere on the planet! Give us a call at (231) 757–4766 to talk to a friendly voice or visit michfest.com/tickets. We so look forward to being with you under warm August skies each year.
Here are 22 suggestions to bring more light, love, and laughter into our world.
1. Plug random parking meters.
2. Give more hugs.
3. Plant a tree.
4. Pick up litter while you are are out and about.
5. Print bookmarks to leave in random library books.
6. Be a ginger [reference to hair color].
7. Mow your neighbor’s lawn.
8. Say hello.
9. Send thank you notes for no reason at all.
10. Give flowers to strangers
11. Let someone go first.
12. Clean up after yourself
13. Drive courteously
14. Adopt a pet.
15. Be less judgmental.
16. Buy school supplies for a teacher you know.
17. Tip 100%.
18. Deliver cookies to firefighters.
19. Visit a senior center.
20. Secretly buy cupcakes for coworkers.
21. Return a shopping cart.
22. Be polite online.
Periodically, every organization needs to revisit the way it operates and to make thoughtful changes. We’ve done that recently and want to tell our readers about the changes we’ve made. One of our most important changes, and one we are very excited about, is the addition of General and Voting Memberships. Over the years, we’ve been asked many times, “How do I become a member of Herland?” Now we have an answer for you–fill out an application! If you would like to be a Voting Member and help select new Board Members, we have two ways you can do that: either pay an annual membership fee or volunteer a certain minimum number of hours during the year. Watch for more news on memberships and our annual meeting in the last quarter of 2014. Please ask any current board member if you have questions about these changes.
The table below highlights the major differences between the previous (2002) and newly–revised bylaws:
In 1978, Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow flag for San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Celebration. The original flag consisted of eight stripes: pink for sexuality, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for the sun, green for nature, blue for art, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit. Since then, the design has undergone several revisions but the most common variant consists of six stripes, with the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. The rainbow flag has been adapted by Greg Gomes of Gay Flags of the World to represent US states and countries around the world. The colors reflect the diversity of the LGBTQ community. [from www.thewelcomingproject.org]
The rainbow flag is the most recognizable symbol of LGBTQ rights and LGBTQ pride and is used as a welcoming and supportive symbol toward the LGBTQ community worldwide.
The Diversity Business Association (DBA) is a collective of LGBT–owned and LGBT–allied businesses. Together DBA is supporting business, advancing equality, and improving the economy.
Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma has announced their Give Storm Shelter campaign! This $265,000 campaign will enable the construction of a tornado shelter at the Camp E–Ko–Wah property and two buses for safe transportation of girls. For many, one of the most cherished Girl Scout experiences is spending time at camp, building friendships, and survival skills. To maintain the safety of Girl Scout campers year–round, a 50 x 24–foot multipurpose shelter accommodate–ing up to 300 people will be built. The shelter will be FEMA F5–rated to withstand the fiercest Oklahoma tornadoes, with 8–inch thick concrete walls reinforced with steel rebar and wrapped in a wood exterior to blend in aesthetically. This girl–inspired campaign is being spearheaded by the girls and alumnae of Norman Troop 241 and chaired by their troop leader. Make a sizeable donation and help the troop go “over the edge” of its goal and “over the edge” by rappelling. This isn’t your typical rock climbing rappel! You can be one of the select few who rappel from Leadership Square, the 10th tallest building in Oklahoma City. There are only 30 spots left! Visit http://bit.ly/GoingOver4GS for more details.
Going down the side of a building not your thing? Never fear, they’ve planned a FREE kids carnival for the whole family to enjoy! You might see a troop leader face her fears while you watch safely from the ground and scouts can enjoy a bounce house, high adventure bridge, face painting, photo booth, and cool STEM activities. The OKC Boathouse Foundation will also be there to help participants make edible Water Aquifers and experience the ERG Simulation Station. That’s not all! Girls who join Girl Scouts for the first time and existing Girl Scouts who bring a friend who joins at the event have the opportunity to win cool prizes including Zoo passes, Frontier City passes, Girl Scout Fest passes, and digital cameras. Don’t miss out on this fun and free event!! [selections from www.gswestok.org by Elizabeth Caldwell]
A few highlights [edited] are shared from Radical Women’s participation in the Jacksonville, FL, week of action, “Standing Our Ground Against Reproductive Oppression, Gender Violence, and Mass Incarceration.”
Emily Woo Yamasaki and Betty Maloney, leaders from the New York Radical Women (RW) chapter, hit the ground running when they arrived in Jacksonville on Monday, 7/28. They brought their energy and political insights, and a powerful statement from Radical Women, “Standing against an unjust system: Women’s freedom requires a revolution by the grassroots.” They found that everyone was high from Monday morning’s successful march and rally at the Duval County Courthouse. Betty, who arrived earliest, participated in an impromptu meeting with a number of activists from different parts of the country to discuss how to continue building support for Marissa Alexander.
On Tuesday afternoon, 7/29, Emily spoke for Radical Women at a panel on “The Women’s Movement and Social Change.” The panel opened with a presentation by Beth Richie, author of Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation. Panelists were Mia Jones (Florida State Representative), Emily (Radical Women), Dr. E. Faye Williams (National Congress of Black Women), Judy Scheckman (Jacksonville NOW), and KD Segura (Jacksonville Planned Parenthood). The panel was chaired by Alisa Bierria (INCITE!). Emily spoke passionately about how Marissa Alexander’s case shows why systemic change is desperately needed; she called for a militant, multi–racial, multi–issue women’s movement that fights for the needs of the most oppressed. The week was a blending of education, action, strategizing, and culture in the fight to defend all survivors of domestic violence and to oppose a racist and sexist “justice” system. Emily and Betty stayed in Jacksonville through the Friday court hearing that ended Standing Our Ground Week (SOGW).
If you can contribute to this activism of SOGW, donate online or mail a check, payable to “Radical Women” to 5018 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118.
This inspiring documentary revisits Broner’s richly engaged political, artistic, and spiritual life through archival photos, video footage spanning several decades, and interviews with family and friends, including Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, Grace Paley, and other famous feminists. Drawing its title from one of Broner’s celebrated novels, the film helps explore the intersection of feminism and religion and helps answer the question, is there room for feminism and religious tradition in a traditionally male dominated space?
In 1975 Esther Broner and Naomi Nimrod wrote the first Women’s Haggadah, paving the way for modern Jewish feminism. For the next 36 years, Esther Broner led the Feminist Passover Seder in New York City, with a core group of women. This film documents the evolution of Jewish feminism. Esther Broner infused second wave feminism with a distinctive Jewish voice. In the mid–1970s, as the women’s movement was vastly changing views on gender and equality, Broner created a radically new Haggadah (the text for the Passover service seder) that preserved but re–imagined Jewish rituals and culture by shifting the focus onto women. Transforming the male–centered service into a powerful reclamation of women’s lives and stories, it became, under Broner’s leadership, the basis for a Jewish feminist tradition that continues to today.
At the same time the documentary tells the story of Esther Broner, described by the New York Times as a writer who explored the double marginalization of being Jewish and female. Without her, we can assume, modern Jewish women might not have found a worthy place in the home, in society, and in Jewish tradition.
The Respect Diversity Foundation (RDF) is an Oklahoma City 501(c)3 non–profit promoting tolerance, acceptance, and affinity through communication, education, and the arts. For over a decade, students throughout Oklahoma have explored creative ways of addressing issues of cultural diversity, human rights, and global peace by participating in the annual Respect Diversity Arts Exhibition. The Respect Diversity Arts Exhibition inspires teachers to guide students to explore diversity through the arts,” said Joan Korenblit, Executive Director of the RDF. “Art integration enhances lessons.” “Since 2002, we’ve launched the Respect Diversity Arts Exhibition with leaders in our community,” added Korenblit.
“Diversity is our strength. The better we know our neighbors, the more we find ways to appreciate their cultures and the closer we come toward peace.” Korenblit says these issues may be addressed through a curriculum–centered experience such as reading Maya Angelou’s book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Experiences, such as the book, help the teacher capture a “teachable moment” to launch a Respect Diversity Symbol project which then might be an exhibition entry. Participants may also learn from Respect Diversity programs when a speaker relates a family story of harassment or violence motivated by intolerance. According to Korenblit, once the participants have received a “mind and heart opening” educational or communication experience, they begin to engage in discussion, which she believes is often transformational.
“Student collaboration often opens the door to create a symbol of respect for diversity,” Korenblit said. “It might be visual artwork, a poem, or a song and dance routine. Any artistic expression can be utilized to create a symbol of diversity.” “Behind every entry to the Respect Diversity Arts Exhibition is a story,” she said. “Some displays show the culmination of a human rights unit of study. Others are inspired by the study of traditions of various cultures.” This year’s exhibit theme is “Respect, Responsibility, Resilience.”
Over the past 15 years, over two hundred thousand students throughout Oklahoma have participated in the RDF arts exhibition. The collaborative arts projects are showcased for a full month each spring. “By collaborating on art as they learn about other cultures, human rights issues, and by showcasing symbols of respect for diversity, our youth are helping to define who we want to be as a nation,” Korenblit said.
“In fact, we ask all educators and facilitators to enter their groups’ symbols, whenever possible.” Exhibit entries are created by Pre–K–12th grade students.
New this year, RDF is partnering with the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice to promote the project, “Different and the Same.” It is a child–focused initiative that helps students identify, talk about, and prevent prejudice. In addition, Respect Diversity Foundation has joined with the Interfaith Alliance for the Beyond Coexistence Project, which entails a series of forums and other activities to be held in the fall. RDF is also partnering with Children’s Theatre to offer a civil rights panel during a few of their Spring performances,” Korenblit added.
“Through art, students are teaching people that no matter what our differences may be, by working together we can make this a better world,” Korenblit summarized. “What a wonderful way to teach respect for all cultures.” For more information, contact: Joan Korenblit at (405) 359–0369, email@example.com, or visit www.respectdiversity.org. [from City Sentinel By Darla Shelden, Reporter]
At the culmination of LGBT Pride Month for those of us in central Oklahoma, it is a time when lesbians, gay men, bisexual, and transgender Oklahomans celebrate with allies in a public display of community. When asked, “Why do we need an LGBT pride parade?” I frequently answer, “Because there is much of which to be proud.”
I’m no more proud of my sexual orientation than of my hair color or my height. It is just a part of who I am. But I have tremendous pride in the women and men, youth and seniors who have made and are making positive advances toward equality for all people.
As a community, we are proud of those gay men and women who served their country, all while knowing they could be dishonorably discharged just for whom they were.
We are proud of the clergy, across denominational and faith lines, who embrace love for all people, knowing they could lose their position for espousing their core ideals.
We are proud of the children who endured taunts and bullying to become strong adults and proud of the educators who refused to allow bullying of any child. We are proud of our LGBT elected officials and those allies in office who believe that every American deserves the same treatment as every other American.
We are proud of the LGBT writers and actors, architects and artists who have created books and characters, designs, music, and art that will impact generations for centuries.
We are proud of LGBT couples who have become role–model parents and the straight parents who support, love, and encourage their gay children just as they are. We are proud of Oklahoma employers who celebrate inclusivity and provide same–gender partner benefits to their employees. And we take pride in the work of our many LGBT small–business owners.
We are proud that the US government recognizes our legal marriages and treats same–gender couples with equity. We are especially proud of those couples in Oklahoma and every other state who have risked their savings and, in some cases, their safety to secure marriage equality.
We are proud of our lawyers and doctors, accountants and police officers. We are proud of our hairdressers and interior designers and our landscape crews. We take pride in our fabulous drag queens and macho leather kings, our motorcycle mamas and club kids, especially when standing side–by–side with our PTA moms and the quiet couple from down the block.
We are proud that our history of struggle, defeat, and accomplishments is not forgotten and that it will serve as a model for others in their quest for freedom and equality.
We are proud of the advancements we have made in equality in Oklahoma and in our nation. And we are proud in the knowledge that we will not slow down, not give up, until equality is a reality for all people. That’s why we need an LGBT Pride Parade. Because there is much of which to be proud. [from www.equalityokc.org by Scott Hamilton of the Cimarron Alliance Equality Center]
The YWCA has long advocated for the health and safety of women and girls. And, the YWCA is the largest provider of abused women’s shelters and domestic violence services in the country, serving over 500,000 women and children annually. Violence against women takes many forms, including domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. These crimes impact millions of individuals and families in every community in our nation.
The YWCA supports anti–violence policies and programs that protect survivors, hold perpetrators accountable, and work to eradicate sexual assault and domestic violence, trafficking of women and girls, and dating violence. Specifically, the YWCA advocates for the continuance and full funding for the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and Violence against Women Act (VAWA) and legislation that ensures employment stability and economic security for survivors of violence against women. YWCAs around the country provide a variety of services and programs to address violence against women, ranging from emergency shelters, support groups and crisis hotlines. The OKC shelter has current needs for the following:
Pack of construction paper
Jumbo glue sticks
Crayola markers (8 markers)
Play–dough (Please no Rose Art)
Wide–ruled spiral notebook
2–pocket folders with brads
Reusable water bottle
3–ring 1” binder
Colored copy paper
New wash cloths (Desperately Need)
New full–sized towels (Desperately Need)
New sheets and comforters, twin sized (Desperately Need)
Full–sized Shampoos/Conditioners/Body Wash/Soap (Desperately Need)
by Christa Woods
When I came out in April of 1997, my life changed in a huge way. Feelings that confused and frightened me suddenly made sense; and for the first time, I started to feel comfortable in my own skin. My decision to be open about who I am and who I loved came with lots of questions from friends, family, and, sometimes, complete strangers. I decided early that the best way to educate people about what being a lesbian really meant was to simply live my life honestly and openly. I didn’t balk at questions, even some of the more personal ones. I wanted people to understand that I was still a beautiful, precious human being worthy of her place on this planet. I’d like to think that I have done a fair job of that so far.
On November 30, 2010, my life completely changed again. In February of that year, I was diagnosed with proliferative diabetic retinopathy, a disease that causes blood vessels to grow inside the eye and pull on the retina, eventually detaching it. I had already lost a lot of vision in my left eye, but the right one was still pretty good. Then, in the middle of watching the OU vs OSU Bedlam game, I noticed that everything in my right eye became very blurry. A couple of friends took me immediately to see my eye doctor, who determined that the laser procedure I had undergone just a week before to prevent the blood vessels from growing and bleeding had actually triggered a major bleed. In the course of less than two hours, I went from 20/20 vision in my “good” right eye to being legally blind. To add insult to injury, OSU lost the game!
In the three and a half years since, I have worked hard to deal with my new life as a person with vision loss. I had to relearn how to do many things, like cleaning my apartment, cooking, shopping, using a computer, and travelling in the community. At times, the challenges were so overwhelming; I thought I would never be able to have a normal life again. Thankfully, with the support of family, friends, and my Herland sisters, I found the strength to keep going. I am three semesters away from earning a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, and I am currently working fulltime as a Visual Services counselor for people who are deaf and blind. I will probably never drive again, but I have learned to live with it. I am now a master of the public transporta–tion system, such as it is, but I never turn down a free ride.
The strange part about my journey to dealing with my disability is how it is similar to my coming out journey. People ask a lot of ridiculous questions, treat me as if I am some alien creature from another galaxy, and a few have even tried to “pray away” both my homosexuality and my blindness. During this process, which continues today, I have learned that, as many misconceptions as there are about the LGBT community, misconceptions about people with disabilities are much more numerous. Some people thought that my IQ had suddenly dropped 50 points. My family members started preparing for the day they were sure they would have to take care of my every need and that my useful life was over. I have been looked upon with fear and pity.
I decided to approach these nuggets of misinformation the same way I approached coming out–I simply live my life. I welcome questions from anyone, especially children. When I walk my dog, the neighborhood kids ask me about my white cane, and I explain to them what it means and how I use it. I move about in my community proudly, quietly showing how I shop, bank, go to school, or meet friends for nights’ out. Instead of hiding myself and my disability from the world, as so many expect, I fight to take my rightful place in society.
I am an out and proud blind lesbian. My first coming out experiences, in an odd way, prepared me for life as a person with a disability. I have resolved to continue fighting for equality for both the LGBT community and the Disability community. I want the world to know that I am not a freak, I am not useless and that my tiny part in this story of life is just as happy, sad, funny, and exciting as everyone else’s. I hope that, by living my life as I choose, with all its successes and failures, I can be an example to my nieces and nephews. I want to love and be loved. All I ask is for the chance to be exactly who I am.
One of the primary initiatives of Girl Scout Cornerstone is to support the Girl Scouts Gold Award Scholarship. GS Cornerstone started the council’s first scholarship fund, which recognizes and rewards scouts who have earned the prestigious Gold Award, the highest honor awarded to a Girl Scout. Each spring, GS Cornerstone awards two $500 scholarships to graduating seniors receiving their gold award.
In March 2014, GS Cornerstone held its second annual Earn Your Shopping Badge event to raise money for the scholarship fund, working toward an endowment when $20,000 is raised. Earn Your Shopping Badge is a one–day shopping event during which select stores donate 10% of the day’s proceeds to the scholarship fund. More than $3,000 was raised for the scholarship fund this time!
While most GS Cornerstone activities are designed to support the mission of Girl Scouts and bring professional value to members, other events are simply fun. Earlier this year, members gathered at Green Goodies for a Cupcakes and Creative event where GS Cornerstone members completed craft projects while enjoying delicious cupcakes made from Girl Scout Cookies. For more information, visit www.gswestok.org.
Herland has gone wireless, and we can start video streaming too! Our Herland Sister Resources building now has free WiFi for member enjoyment! You can use your favorite mobile device (phones, Kindles, iPads, laptops, and so on) and hook right into the system with an on–site password! The password will be provided in writing by the front door and open to all visitors for use during meetings, dinners, or when you just want to come by and hang out doing some quiet reading. A special thank you to our Building & Maintenance sister who did the research behind the scenes and for making the building internet–ready!
If you are like most women, you still remember “home ec” class from your high school days. You might recall learning basic cooking skills, how to hem a skirt, or how to manage a household budget. And you probably also recall that the majority, if not all, of your classmates were girls. But at its start, the field of home economics was something quite different from what you remember. The roots of “home ec” can be traced back to Ellen Swallow Richards, the co–founder of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, the predecessor organization to AAUW.
Richards’ goal was a simple one. A trailblazing MIT chemist, she wanted to apply scientific knowledge to domestic work and create a new pathway for women into higher education. Early home economics courses incorporated a variety of scientific disciplines into the classroom and aimed to professionalize the work of women. In addition, Richards and her fellow progressive–era feminists hoped that introducing more efficient practices within the home would liberate women from the drudgery of household work, freeing up their time and energy to focus on other pursuits. In 1899 Richards organized the first of a series of meetings in Lake Placid, New York, to lay the groundwork for a new academic discipline. Several terms were offered to describe the work they were doing, including “oekology” and “euthenics,” but attendees eventually settled on “home economics.” The Lake Placid meetings were held until 1909, when the American Home Economics Association was established, and Richards became its first president.
It looks like Richards achieved her goal. According to Cornell University, training in home economics not only prepared women for motherhood and homemaking but also for a broad spectrum of careers in public and private education, business, social service, dietetics, journalism, and institutional management. As various professional fields legitimized their specific knowledge and talents, home economists carved a place for themselves outside the domestic sphere.
Today, home economics is referred to as “family and consumer science,” and it’s disappearing from schools. But recent articles call for a return to home economics education for both genders. Writers lament that the course has been dropped from many school curricula, pointing to the lack of basic essential skills, such as planning for and cooking nutritious meals and managing a household budget, among today’s youth. It will be interesting to see what the future holds and whether the home economics of Ellen Swallow Richards will be reinvented yet again. [posted July 31, 2014, on www.aauw.org]
[We have made requests for OKC spiritual organizations to respond with informational descriptions–more should appear in the next issue.]
The Dharma Center’s purpose is to provide a place of meditation and spiritual growth through the study and practice of Buddhist principles. We seek to support each other and our community in the development of awareness, compassion, and peace.
For information, please e–mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (405) 943–5030, or visit 2745 NW 40th St, OKC OK 73112.
Epworth United Methodist Church (UMC) welcomes all, and, at Epworth, all means ALL. Epworth UMC is a faithful, diverse Christian Community dedicated to the reconciling ministries of Jesus through our traditions of Spirit–filled worship; justice–seeking mission and service; purposeful faith and spiritual development; radical, inclusive hospitality; and intentional care and nurture of our church family, our community, and the world. The people of the faith community of Epworth UMC strive to transform the world by throwing open our hearts, our minds, and our doors to all–all are welcome. Epworth UMC is a member of Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) which is a growing movement of United Methodists working for the full participation of all people in the church. Reconciling Ministries Network (http://www.rmnetwork.org) mobilizes United Methodists of all sexual orientations and gender identities to transform our Church and world into the full expression of Christ’s inclusive love. The Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) strives to transform the world by living out the Gospel’s teachings of grace, love, justice, and inclusion for all of God’s children.
For information on Epworth UMC, visit http://www.epworth–okc.org or call the office (405) 525–2346.
Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ stands firmly on the idea that the church should only reject people that Jesus would reject–that is, no one. We recognize that LGBTQ people can be just as loving, just as faithful, just as disciplined, just as holy as all other people can be, and that they equally share with all other human beings the worth that comes from being children of God. We seek to include those who find themselves in exile from the community of faith because of their orientation and invite them to share in our common communion and work beside us as we do justice, seek mercy, and walk humbly with God.
For information, please visit www.mayflowerucc.org, e–mail us at email@example.com, or call the office at (405) 842–8897.
Margot Adler, a longtime correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) who was also a recognized authority on and a longtime practitioner of neo–pagan spiritualism, died on Monday, July 28, at her home in Manhattan. She was 68. Her death, from cancer, was announced by NPR.
Having joined NPR in 1979, Adler variously worked as a general–assignment reporter, the New York bureau chief, and a political and cultural correspondent. Over her tenure, she reported on a wide array of subjects, among them the Ku Klux Klan, the AIDS epidemic, the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Sandy, the Harry Potter phenomenon, and the natural world.
Margot Adler was also a self–described Wiccan high priestess who adhered to the tradition for more than 40 years. She was the author of Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess–Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today (1979), a book that both documented contemporary pagan movements and was credited with helping ignite heightened interest in them.
The daughter of Kurt Alfred Adler and the former Freyda Nacque, Margot Susanna Adler was born on April 16, 1946, in Little Rock, AR, and reared on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Her father was a psychiatrist who helped continue the work of his father, the distinguished Viennese psychiatrist Alfred Adler, who was first an ally and later an ideological adversary of Freud.
Adler graduated from the High School of Music and Art and enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was active in the free speech, civil rights, and antiwar movements. After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from Berkeley, she received a master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. In 1982, she was a Nieman fellow at Harvard. Before joining NPR, Ms Adler was affiliated with WBAI in New York, serving as the original host of “Hour of the Wolf,” a show exploring the work of noted science fiction writers. Ms Adler’s husband, John Lowell Gliedman, a psychologist, computer consultant, and science writer whom she married in 1988, died in 2010. Survivors include their son, Alex Dylan Gliedman–Adler.
Her other books include Vampires Are Us: Understand–ing Our Love Affair with the Immortal Dark Side (2014), and a 1997 memoir, Heretic’s Heart: A Journey Through Spirit & Revolution. Adler was drawn to neo–paganism in the early 1970s, she said, because its invocation of ancient goddesses appealed to her feminism and its ecological concerns resonated with her love of nature. Though witchcraft was for Ms Adler a serious endeavor, it also furnished an outlet for her constitutional puckish humor. She drew the line, however, at the rustic, gnarled–handled broom she kept in her kitchen. In 1991, when a reporter from The Times visited her apartment, Adler declared in no uncertain terms that she was not to be photographed alongside it. [from NYT Margalit Fox 7/29/2014 with references from “Margot Adler in 2006” by Michael Paras/NPR]
As an undergraduate OSU student, I am recruiting participation for a research project involving sexual minority (LGBTI) young adults (ages 18–25) who currently reside in Oklahoma. I am inviting young people to participate in this research (if they qualify) and to also help me access more participants. The study is being conducted through an anonymous and confidential web–based survey at http://tiny.cc/oklgbti2. It examines potential cognitive, emotional, and identity correlates of non–suicidal self–harm in LGBTI youth, aged 18 to 25 (Transitional Youth). The purpose of this study is to explore and understand factors that may contribute to risk behaviors in LGBTI populations.
If you have any questions please contact: Sue Jacobs, PhD at 405–744–9895 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Douglas Knuston, MEd, PhD Student at 405–459–0241 or email@example.com; or Melissa Hakman, PhD at 405–208–5397 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance, Kaylie Thomas
If you enjoy reading the Herland Voice but have not made a donation in recent years, please consider doing so now. Because of the cost involved with printing and mailing, we must limit our mailing list to those who make some contribution–even a small one. For those who would like to continue reading the Voice but are unable to make a contribution, please send your e–mail address (including your street address to simplify the process) to email@example.com, and we would be happy to sign you up for the e–mail version of the Voice.
August 9–The Big Easy, 359 E Main, Yukon 73099 @ 5:30 p.m.
September 13–Potluck @ HSR, OKC @ 6:00 p.m.
October 11–Ingrid’s Kitchen–October Fest, 3701 N Youngs Blvd, OKC 73112 @ 5:30 p.m.
November 8–Swadley’s BBQ, 4000 N Rockwell Ave (near NW 39th), Bethany, OK 73008 @ 5:30 p.m.
December 13–Dirty Santa Party & Traditional Holiday Potluck! @ HSR, OKC @ 6:00 p.m.
If you have a restaurant to suggest for a future Herland Supper Club, please e–mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome your ideas.
Sunday 3rd Friendship Day
Tuesday–Sunday 5th–10th Michigan Women’s Music Festival
Saturday 9th HSR open 1–5 p.m. & Sup Club @ The Big Easy
Sunday 17th 4 p.m. HSR Board Meeting
Friday 22nd Be an Angel Day
Saturday 23rd HSR open 1–5 p.m.
Tuesday 26th OKC Special Elections 7 a.m.–7 p.m.
Monday 1st Labor Day
Saturday 13th HSR open 1–5 p.m. & Potluck @ HSR, OKC
Sunday 21st 4 p.m. HSR Board Meeting
Wednesday 24th Marian Wright Edelman @ OCU
Saturday 27th HSR open 1–5 p.m.
Saturday 11th HSR open 1–5 p.m. & Sup Club @ Ingrid’s
Monday 13th Columbus Day/Native American Day
Sunday 19th 4 p.m. HSR Board Meeting
Saturday 25th HSR open 1–5 p.m.
Friday 31st Halloween
Friday–Sunday 31st–Nov 2nd Retreat at Eufaula State Park
Friday 1st All Saints’ Day
Saturday 8th HSR open 1–5 p.m. & Supper Club @ Swadley’s
Saturday 8th 27th Annual Peace Fest from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. @ Civic Center Hall of Mirrors
Tuesday 11th Veterans’ Day
Saturday 22nd HSR open 1–5 p.m.
Saturday 13th HSR open 1–5 p.m. & Traditional Holiday Party
Upcoming 2015 Events:
Spring Retreat 2015–May
Fall Retreat 2015–October