Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does Cimarron Alliance actually contribute to the LGBT community?

    Cimarron Alliance contributes to the LGBT community by providing safe-support resources. We have a diverse community, and we try to support each member of that community; from youth, people transitioning, and the older members of our community. We connect people with counseling services when required or requested. We are a safe place for all Oklahomans LGBT and our Straight Alliance.

  • What are the hours of operation?

    The Cimarron Alliance Equality Center is open from noon-8:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday and from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Fridays. Please note that many programs and services are also at the Equality Center during other hours and on weekends.

  • Are gay people just sexual deviants?

    Let me start by answering your question with vehement NO in the sense you are asking. Gays are considered a sexual minority. The only difference between a straight or gay people is the people they love.

  • My mother is now in a gay relationship, but I am not sure how this is possible because my parents were once married and have children together.

    Your situation is more common than you would think. Many people feel forced to hide their true feelings/desires in order to be better accepted by society, religious organizations, or families. In doing so, men and women alike enter into heterosexual relationships for extended periods of time, which often result in children. Because a person is in a heterosexual relationship does not automatically make the person heterosexual. We recommend that you speak with both parents to get a better understanding of the situation and to facilitate the healing process. If necessary, we at Cimarron Alliance, can connect you with counselors that are experienced with situations such as this one. You may also benefit from attending a PFLAG (Parents, Friends, and Families of Lesbians and Gays) meeting. We have one at the Cimarron Alliance Equality Center.

  • Will I be accepted in the gay community?

    You will certainly feel accepted at the Cimarron Alliance Equality Center! All are welcome within the LGBT community, heterosexual or homosexual. Here at the Cimarron Alliance Equality Center, we believe in non-judgmental openness. We want people to come to our facility and feel safe, secure, and be able to express themselves, as they feel appropriate.

  • It’s been a long-time since I was last tested for an STD, do you offer testing at Cimarron Alliance?

    We do not offer STD testing at the facility. However, we can provide you with all the facilities in the area that provide testing for free or at low cost. If you are sexually active, the Cimarron Alliance Equality Center offers free condoms and lubrication in order to protect you and your partner. We also recommend you get tested right away. Knowing your status is both smart and responsible.

  • Do you provide relationship counseling for lesbian and gay couples?

    We do not provide relationship counseling per se, however our support groups have proven to be very helpful for couples. Our groups bring people together, which starts an open dialogue about life in general. We also make referrals to professional counselors who are skilled at working with LGBT persons.

  • How am I able to become involved in the LGBT community?

    Cimarron Alliance accepts volunteers. Our volunteers are able to assist in wide range of activities, from office or clerical work to planning social events. This is one of the easiest ways to become involved, have fun, and give back to your community!

  • I think my son or daughter is gay, do you provide family support?

    We are able to connect families of gay children with the proper counselor. Cimarron Alliance also has the Youth Equality Service (YES), which offers support for LGBT youth between the ages of 14-22. The YES has a range of activities in which to participate, from movie nights to open dialogue about school issues. If interested, please stop by our facility and check out some of the amazing activities. You would also benefit from attend PFLAG meetings. Here you will feel supported by other parents/friends who have gay loved ones.

  • Can you provide guidance on the new tax laws for lesbian or gay married couples?

    We have a very general idea about the new tax laws that concern lesbian or gay married couples. Because everything is happening at the federal level, we have had a hard time trying to apply those rules to our state. A helpful organization attached to Cimarron Alliance is the Diversity Business Association (DBA), which includes business owners and professionals that fight for diversity within their business and community. The DBA include many attorneys that are more versed on the new tax laws. For more information about DBA, please visit dbaokc.com.

  • I have run away from home, and I don’t know where to turn?

    We are sorry that you feel running away was the best option, however we would like to make sure you are in a safe place. Many youth run away on impulse without allowing time to consider the situation. If you have run away, and would like a safe place to cool off please come by our facility. We are able to connect you and/or your parents with the proper resources. It is critical that you not remain on the street. Please contact us today.

  • Can I make anonymous donations?

    Yes! There are multiple ways to provide an anonymous donation. Our website will walk you through the process or donating to our organization. Another option is mailing a money order to our facility. We need and appreciate the support of our friends and hope, in the future, all folks will want to make donations without being anonymous.

  • After I make my donations, am I required to make annual donations?

    We offer two membership options, Cimarron Membership for $25 and Torch level Sponsorship for $100. Either option will automatically renew on an annual basis if not canceled. The Torch Level is the standard membership, but also provides a membership for three individuals that are not able to afford the membership fee. Of course, you can make a one-time gift in any amount. You may do so right from our website.

  • I’m straight but I believe in gay rights, are all the people attached to Cimarron Alliance LGBT?

    No! Cimarron Alliance could not survive without donations, contributions, and volunteers from people in the heterosexual community. We concentrate on bridging the gap between LGBT people and our wonderful allies.

  • Are my contributions to Cimarron Alliance tax-deductible?

    Cimarron Alliance is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. As such, contributions are generally tax-deductible. Please check with your tax advisor to make sure.

  • How are my contributions used?

    Your contributions directly support our educational, empowerment, and advocacy work. It costs about $12,000 a month to operate the Cimarron Alliance Equality Center, so every gift matters and is put to work right away.

  • I have known since I was about 6-years-old that I am gay. I’m in high school and have come out to some of my friends. Should I come out to my parents now?

    This is perhaps the most frequently asked question of all. Sadly, there is no easy answer to the question because each of us is in a different situation. Coming out is an incredibly freeing experience, but the issue of when to come out is one that must be considered carefully. How do you think your parents will react? Are they generally supportive of you? Do they encourage individuality? Do they allow you to pursue the hobbies and afterschool programs you enjoy? If so, then you may be in a good situation, in which to come out. If you feel there is a chance your parents will reject you, it may be better to wait until you are living on your own.

  • With all of the advances in the LGBT movement, is there really a need for a community center?

    When marriage equality is the law of the land and we enjoy full equality in our state, there will still be a need for the Cimarron Alliance Equality Center. Cimarron Alliance is a community-enriching place where people learn, grow, celebrate, and mourn together; a place where individuals encourage each other to maximize their potential. We accomplish this by, providing a non-threatening environment, which growing together is the essential purpose. We cannot legislate a change of heart or mind, so our collective work is and will be important for decades to come.

  • Is the Cimarron Alliance Equality Center just a cruising area?

    The Cimarron Alliance Equality Center is not a cruising area at all. We do not allow solicitation of any kind in, around, or near our facility. We are here to foster lasting relationships in order to improve the quality of life for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied folks.

  • Is AIDS still a big deal? Now my HIV+ friends just take a few pills a day and live normal lives.

    You have asked a big question. HIV and AIDS (the latter is the result of being HIV=) continues to be a very large health problem in the LGBT community and the community at large. It is true that HIV is now a much more manageable illness than it was even a few years ago. With advances in medicine, many HIV+ people are able to enjoy lifespans equal to others without HIV. However, this does not mean that the virus does not cause problems. Even people who are HIV+ and whose viral load is undetectable, can suffer some devastating effects of the illness. Please don’t be fooled. You have the responsibility to protect yourself, and we encourage you to protect yourself and others.

  • I like to watch drag performers, but I really can’t relate to them in any way. I’m a masculine guy who enjoys sports and beer, and I’d never wear lipstick. Why do drag queens get so much attention in our community?

    The reality is that you can probably relate to drag performers in more ways than you realize. Everyone in the LGBT community is considered “different” in some way. Focusing on the things we have in common can go a long way in helping us all to feel connected to the very same community. One important thing to remember: Most drag performers are incredibly generous and provide essential financial support to vital organizations in our community. Drag performers are illusion artist, and many performers lead very masculine lives outside of drag.

  • I am in recovery and don’t like being around alcohol. Do you serve alcohol at the Cimarron Alliance Community Center?

    Many gay Oklahomans are in recovery, and we are very supportive in their recovery efforts. Almost everything at the Cimarron Alliance Equality Center is alcohol-free, drug-free, and tobacco-free. On rare occasions, the Board of Directors may host events that include wine, but these are not part of our everyday programming. Because of our Youth and recovery programs we do not allow alcohol on the premises at any other time.

  • I hear a lot of younger people using the term “queer.” It drives me crazy. Any suggestions?

    Sure. Let them use it. Many people in the community have adopted the term as one of empowerment. They feel using the term takes away the sting. Others, like you, have disturbing memories of having heard the word too often by non-LGBT people. We support an individual’s right to use terms that are most appropriate for them. We should also point out that we use gender-specific pronouns if requested by an individual.

  • Is it true that gay men and lesbians commit suicide at higher rates than straight people? What about trans people?

    Sadly, a young gay or lesbian person living in Oklahoma is six times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers. Society pressures at work and school create an oppressive atmosphere, which can lead a person into isolation, substance abuse, and depression. Trans people are at an even greater risk of suicide. That’s why building a strong community is so incredibly important. Together we can help each other through the difficult times and help connect our friends in need with the best resources possible.

  • I remember when it was just the gay community. Now it is an alphabet soup. Do we really need to include so many different groups?

    In a word: yes. LGBTQI2A—Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Two-Spirit, Allies. While it certainly is a lengthy list, it is better to include everyone than to exclude anyone. Too often, our community is excluded from many different organizations and activities. We feel it is best to include everyone when describing our community. We can do much more working collaboratively than any portion of our community could ever do alone. Some people still say, “gay community” while others prefer all (or most) of the list above. Others, too, simply call it the “queer community.” Whatever you call our community, it is important to know that Cimarron Alliance works to include everyone to best serve everyone.

  • My daughter came out to me, but she is afraid to tell her dad. How can I support her without betraying her confidence?

    Sounds like you could really benefit from a PFLAG meeting. Parents, Family/Friends of Lesbians and Gays, PFLAG helps thousands of families every year navigate issues like the one you’ve described. There are PFLAG meetings in Oklahoma City, Norman, Tulsa, Stillwater, and Bartlesville. We would be happy to connect you to the PFLAG group nearest you.

  • My child came out to me as being transgendered, but I do not know how to handle this situation. I’m not even sure what it is.

    Being transgendered is when one self-identifies as a gender other than their “assigned gender” based on physical traits. A transgendered person may identify as straight, gay, bisexual, or asexual. We know this must be very confusing to you and it requires much more than a textbook definition here. Your child needs your support more than ever before, regardless of her or his age. The best way you can help your child—and the rest of your family—is to seek professional counseling and support. PFLAG is also a good resource for you. Even as you try to understand your child’s situation, please remain supportive and encouraging.

  • My husband told me that he is gay. How? Why?

    First, your husband may have just told you that he is gay, but he has been gay all his life. It’s not uncommon, especially in Oklahoma, for people to feel such strong societal/religious pressure that they convince themselves that they can “live as if.” Remember there is no one to blame here; not your husband and certainly not yourself. This is certainly a difficult time for you, your husband, and your family. There are a variety of ways of dealing with this situation, and we suggest you take it slow and easy, especially if children are involved. We are happy to recommend a professional counselor if you’d like to help you through this challenging time.

  • My Christian beliefs tell me that being gay is wrong. How can I be gay and not betray my Christian faith?

    Many within the LGBT community are Christians and have found tolerant and accepting church homes here in Oklahoma. We can direct you to a few churches our members attend.

  • Why should gay people have special rights?

    We don’t believe that any group of people should have special rights. Instead, we believe in equal rights for all people. To deny anyone rights based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression is wrong. While we do not advocate for special rights, we certainly work toward equality for all.

  • I’m a guy who has always dated girls. I’m in a relationship (2 years) with a great young woman. We enjoy all of the same things, like the same people, the whole deal. The problem is, I’m attracted to other guys. I have been faithful to my girl, but lately have been looking at ads online and thinking about what it would be like to be with a man. I don’t think I’m gay, but I am confused. What should I do?

    No point in labeling yourself. You are who you are. You may or may not be gay. You could be bisexual—attracted to both men and women. You are in an interesting position of wanting to explore your sexuality while being faithful to your current girlfriend. This is an interesting situation that Cimarron Alliance has come across in the past. If possible, you should be completely honest with your girlfriend. We can’t tell you what to do, but we would suggest you might benefit from counseling or attending a group for men who are coming out later in life. Regardless of what you decide, please take every effort possible to protect yourself and your girlfriend—and that includes her feelings.

  • I just broke up with my first long-term boyfriend. We met when we were seniors in high school and now I’m a junior in college. I’m just heartbroken and don’t know what to do. My parents have been pressuring me, especially after the breakup, to go to a counselor who can change me to being straight. I know there are a lot of these places around, but how do I find the one that will work for me?

    You won’t. Our sexual orientation is something with which we are born. Like eye color, height, or being left-handed. We cannot change our sexual orientation. You are right about there being many so-called “ex-gay” therapists or “ministries” in Oklahoma. We hear stories every week about families who spent a fortune to change the orientation of a child only to find that it was money wasted. Every major medical organization and every credible scientific organization has been clear on this topic: these are nothing but modern day snake-oil salesmen; there is no “cure” for being gay because it is not an illness to be cured. Save your money, give yourself some time to heal, and you will fall in love again.

  • How did the rainbow flag become a gay symbol?

    It was in in 1978 that Gilbert Baker came up with the idea of a rainbow flag for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. Today, the rainbow flag continues to be a symbol for the diversity, hope, and courage of the gay rights movement everywhere.

  • Why is a pink triangle considered a symbol of gay rights?

    One of the world’s most widely used gay symbols, has its roots in Nazi death camps in World War II. Gay men were forced to wear pink triangles to mark them as such. In more recent years, it has been adopted by LGBT advocates not as a symbol of shame but one of determination and pride.

  • It seems like gay relationships are very short-lived. Are there any longer-term relationships?

    Just as in any romantic involvement, some LGBT relationships are brief and others are long-lasting, loving relationships. It is not uncommon to find gay and lesbian Oklahomans who have been together for 20, 30, 50 or more years.

  • I’ve never met a gay man or lesbian. Don’t gays act like girls and lesbians try to act like guys?

    It is a good possibility that you have met many gays and lesbians and just didn’t know it. Just as with all people, mannerisms, dress, and look of gay men and lesbians comes in a wide variety. While some gay men may have effeminate mannerisms, and some lesbians may have more masculine ways, there is no “gay look.” In other words, you would not know most gay people just by looking at them.