Oklahoma State isn’t normally the place you think of when talking about a gaycation or LGBTQ-friendly destinations. It seems more and more businesses are showing growing support for LGBTQ rights. Businesses are using the Equality Business Alliance Directory and are welcoming travelers when they visit. Let’s take a look at our Oklahoma is OK feature story.
Oklahoma is OK…for LGBT Travelers
by Stevie St. John
Some travelers know Oklahoma State as a “flyover” or a drive-through state—part of the country’s vast middle, to be avoided in the air or sped through via the interstate.
And LGBT travelers, in particular, might be wary of spending their time and dollars in the OK state, which isn’t known for LGBT-friendliness. In 2004, fact, Oklahomans voted to adopt an anti-marriage equality measure that amended the state’s constitution. And in 2014, a restaurateur from Enid, Okla., made headlines for saying he didn’t “want gays around.”
The Heart of the West: Ft. Worth
by David Perry
Say what you will, but line dancing is a very adaptable art form. The sequin-spangled saddle in place of a disco ball took a little getting used to, but the crowd at Billy Bob’s Texas did not miss a beat when the Kenny Chesney ended and the Kylie Minoque picked up. Things just a little more hip-grindy.
The world’s largest honky-tonk — a country music dance hall — Billy Bob’s is one of the undisputed must-dos along the rhinestone-studded roads of Ft. Worth. Outsiders may think of Ft. Worth as nostalgia-obsessed also-ran to Dallas. And they’d be right.
Tempe, AZ: The Little Big City
by Aaron Drake
With the heart of a small town and the soul of a big city, many gay and lesbian travelers find their way to sunny Tempe, Arizona, and are surprised by this little big city. When visiting Tempe you can expect to find all you’ll need to have a blast— shopping, delicious restaurants, sporting events, a thriving arts community, live music scene, and even lodgings with a personality all its own, set in the scenic desert landscape.
Visitors will notice right away that Tempe is an LGBT-friendly town. It’s home to the first university to recognize the gay fraternity Sigma Phi Beta and lesbian sorority Gamma Rho Lambda. Tempe also boasts having one of the first openly gay mayors, Neil Guiliano, who served for four terms. The city still enjoys a progressive mayor who continues to work for the community, Mark Mitchell, who recently helped implement a citywide LGBT nondiscrimination policy. I could easily feel the welcoming vibe just walking down the street…