As late as the mid 1990s, LGBT Oklahomans were marginalized to the point of seeming invisible. Their needs were not met. Their voices were going unheard. Their hopes of acceptance were little more than occasional fantasy, and the idea of enjoying the same rights as other Oklahomans was a distant dream left unspoken by many. The environment left substantial numbers of lesbians and gay men feeling alone, isolated, and resigned to never truly being accepted as equal members of their community. It would take enormous work, tireless dedication, seemingly impossible financial resources, and countless hours to convince even those within Oklahoma’s LGBT community that change was possible.
This strong desire was shared by enough people, however, that a major first step was taken on behalf of the state’s nearly 365,000 gay citizens. In 1995 the Cimarron Alliance Group political action committee (PAC) was founded by a core group of Oklahoma City lesbians and gay men. These visionaries held the common belief that the LGBT community, if united, could prove to have a strong influence in local and statewide political circles. The strength of this political action committee gave birth to what is known today as the Cimarron Alliance, a 501(c)(3) formed in 1997. The focus of the organization is to educate a diverse base of stakeholders about the critical issues facing gays and lesbians throughout Oklahoma.
Since the incorporation of Cimarron Alliance, the organization has operated under the leadership of a dedicated volunteer board of directors. From the very beginning, Cimarron’s board has comprised people within the LGBT community, as well as straight allies who are supportive of the organization’s mission. Cimarron Alliance has served as a powerful resource for individuals and organizations within the LGBT community. As a result of the organization’s leadership, like-minded entities and individuals have also come to rely upon Cimarron Alliance as a critical source of information and the bearer of a vision that is embraced by many throughout Oklahoma.
Today, Cimarron Alliance is recognized as a credible resource for local and national media, a strong ally of other organizations working in the social justice arena, and as a true leadership organization within and for Oklahoma’s LGBT community.