Being Gay in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is known as the reddest-of-the-red state because every county voted for Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential election. It also has one of the highest percentages of Baptist believers in the nation. This got me wondering–what about our LGBTQ community here? How does it feel to be gay in a community that is viewed to be largely and inherently at odds with your life? How does religion play into their lives, and how to Christians feel about the LGBTQ community?
I interviewed five members of the LGBTQ college community, and three college students who are straight and Christian to get their thoughts.
Based on the interviews, which you can watch in the video above, the consensus is that it can be very uncomfortable expressing your sexuality in Oklahoma as an LGBTQ person. All interviewees but one struggled gaining acceptance from their families when coming out–some ties seem broken for now but all were optimistic for an understanding future.
Opinions on religion vary greatly among both the LGBTQ members and straight Christians. Three LGBTQ members identified as either Christian or believing in a higher power while two are not religious.
The straight Christians were slightly divided on their views of homosexuality–that it is a sin according to the Bible but it remains unknown whether that sin is equal to other sins, and whether you can be a Christian and continue to live a “gay lifestyle.”
Two things bring these two groups together across the board, though. First, all yearn for love and understanding. The second was the most interesting thing I realized while doing this project:
Many Christians are afraid to speak up on their beliefs on homosexuality because they are afraid of being labeled by the LGBTQ community and maybe even society in general as “homophobic” solely because of religious views (that may or may not spill over into political views). It struck me that this is, ironically, what most members of the LGBTQ community experience for the first part of their lives, too. They have the same exact fear of being open and honest about who they are and their beliefs, to avoid a negative stigma being applied to them by their religious counterparts and also society in general.
Moral of the story: No matter your religion, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation, it is important not to judge others. Live your life according to what you believe is right.
Code of Ethics
I made this commercial for my first production class last semester with Anneliese Krull. Our professor submitted it to an OBA contest!
Here’s a video we just finished today in my Field Production class. Caribou Coffee is in Oklahoma State’s Student Union. We’re so glad they allowed us to film them, and were willing to participate themselves!
The woman is Marissa Belzer and the man is Mike Shouse. Anneliese Krull and I were behind the camera and did the editing.
Korean Night 2013
Oklahoma State University hosted the first Korean Night put on by the Korean Student Association on Sunday. For $10, anyone had the chance to experience traditional Korean food, watch a fashion show, and see some entertaining K-Pop performances.
Stacey Yo, president of KSA, organized the event in just 2 months. She and the members of KSA practiced every day for three weeks in preparation.
The result was fantastic. This night was full of great food, exceptional talent and plenty of information on Korean culture. Guests had the opportunity to receive prizes from different aspects of Korean culture, from jewelry boxes to photo frames.
While Stacey said the presence of OSU president Burns Hargis and Stillwater Mayor John Bartley made her and other performers a little nervous, she was happy to receive so much support from her community.
OSU officials have said their goal is to give every OSU student an international experience. For those who can’t study abroad, events like Korean Night are a great way to experience a new culture–while having loads of fun.
Research Week begins at Oklahoma State University next week, featuring hundreds of research projects and over thirty events and presentations.
OSU gives college students of any age and major an opportunity to participate in research on campus that can impact the work in their field.
Sophomore Kylie Butler, a strategic communications and psychology double-major, assists with a research project called “Vicarious Persuasion,” led by Dr. Ed Burkley and graduate student Jessica Curtis. This project aims to determine the persuadability of a subject who witnesses others being persuaded beforehand.
“So basically, participants come in and they will read an article on the computer about someone who was persuaded by an argument or who wasn’t persuaded by an argument,” Butler said.
“And then we conduct a test that will determine whether they, after reading these articles, were more persuaded or not persuaded by an argument.”
While the project is under way, Butler said she only needs 120 subjects to complete the experiment. Once testing and analyzing is complete, Butler will move on to a new research project.
Ask your adviser if you want to get involved in on-campus research at OSU.
Access OSU’s Research Week events online at researchweek.okstate.edu.
Benefit at the Beta
Here’s the first news segment Anneliese and I made. The audio is a little sketch, but hey. Learning experience.
Oklahoma has experienced a moderate to severe drought over the past three years. The City of Stillwater stated February 4, 2013 that the Kaw Reservoir (where the city gets most of its water) is 99.6 percent full, meaning residents of Stillwater shouldn’t worry about having shortages this summer.
However, the outlying farming and ranching communities seem to be suffering the most. Students at OSU may feel as though the loss of these crops may not affect them directly, but it does. Students can do their part to conserve water during this period of drought for the betterment of all. Watch this video for more.
So here’s a video that I made about Oklahoma State University’s efforts to raise money for Japan. The audio/video quality is not the best; I was using a home camera. The louder you listen, the worse it sounds. But I hope you enjoy nonetheless!
Thanks to Ray and Naho Timson for allowing me to interview them, Mitch Alcala for letting me use his photo of Ray, and Chaz Knapp for the use of his music.
Nicole Chirico and I visited the Spirit Star Dance Studio in Perkins, Okla. We interviewed Katie Calder, the Company Director and Dance Instructor there. She was gracious enough to allow us to sit in on some of her classes and take some pictures. Here you go!