OkEq unveils Tulsa’s “Pride Street”
by Robin Dorner
Editor in Chief
On June 1, Tulsa will unveil “Pride Street.” Yes, that’s Tulsa, Oklahoma! The sign is located at the corner of 4th & Kenosha, which runs in front of of the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, home of Oklahomans for Equality (OkEq).
Last year, OkEq Program Director, Jose Vega, applied for a grant to install a rainbow crosswalk. Unfortunately, due to federal guidelines and federal traffic regulations, the city decided not to allow any colored crosswalks.
“That's when I came back with the idea of having a street name for our community and having a rainbow on it to show unity,” said Vega. “4th St. runs in front of the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, and that’s where I wanted Pride St to be! That’s also where the Tulsa Pride parade goes through every year!
From a fundraiser with the Tulsa Young Professionals Foundation, Vega was granted $5,000, and his mission started. It was the beginning of five months of conversations with the city back and forth about the importance of having a rainbow crosswalk and how this would welcome the LGBTQ+ community.
Vega said it only took about a month from the time his mission had switched to creating a Pride St. “The city is so understanding of the LGBTQ+ community,” he exclaimed.
“They knew this would mean a lot to our community, and after not approving a rainbow crosswalk, this was the least they could do.”
He is so thankful for the Tulsa Mayor's staff and the city traffic department.
“They were all so encouraging and supportive. I am proud of the city of Tulsa; they are setting examples for cities across the state.”
Vega said he is so glad to see a street named for the LGBTQ+ community.
“Many people teared up after knowing this would be happening. They never thought they would see this happen in their lifetime.”
The groundbreaking event will be June 1 at 9 a.m., the day Tulsa Pride kicks off. Tulsa Mayor GT will be cutting the Rainbow Ribbon and presenting a proclamation for Tulsa Pride and Oklahomans for Equality.
The Gayly. May 21, 2018. 4:34 p.m. CST.