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Letters to the Editor

‘Speaking truth to power’

David Nickell November 8th, 2011

The first installment of James Cooper’s powerful cover story about the emergence of the LGBT community in Oklahoma City (“From closet to community,” Nov. 2, Oklahoma Gazette) is a reminder that social progress more often results from reactions of brave individuals willing to risk all than well-thought-out plans.

I wish all of those in the article, many of whom I have had the privilege to know, were with us to witness the changes in Oklahoma City and the United States since 1969. I am humbled by all they did and by those who continue to make personal sacrifices to bring justice.

However, it is important to remember both those who continue to believe in intolerance and those who are simply indifferent or afraid are still with us. The Gazette story just five pages earlier about reactions to Councilman Ed Shadid’s proposed ordinance to add “sexual orientation” to the city’s nondiscrimination policy (News, Clifton Adcock, “Delayed reaction”) offers ample testimony to this.

Speaking truth to power often entails personal and political cost. I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to the courage and work of those whose stories the article told than for the City Council to pass this ordinance.

—David Nickell
Oklahoma City

Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to or sent online at, but include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

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