The Cimarron Alliance Foundation, a nonprofit representing the LGBT community, is holding its inaugural Gay History Month Gala Friday at the Oklahoma History Center, 2401 N. Laird. The event will include an awards ceremony to recognize individuals helping further gay rights.
Michael Bratcher, a spokesperson for the Cimarron Alliance, said the organization's board chose the recipients based on different criteria, including political and social activism.
"We look for people who have made a difference in the community," he said.
Four awards are being given this year for volunteerism, media, politics and lifetime achievement. Two other awards are not tied to a particular area; recipients can be involved in any field.
Scott Jones, a commentary writer for Oklahoma Gazette, is the recipient of the Torch Award. Jones also pastors Cathedral of Hope UCC in Oklahoma City. Bratcher said the Torch Award is given to an individual who has "shined in his field."
Kendel Powers is the recipient of the Horizon Award.
"The award goes to an up-and-comer in the LGBT community," Bratcher said. "Kendel's work for RAIN Oklahoma has placed him in a position as a leader in our community."
RAIN, the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network, provides education and services to victims of HIV/AIDS and the community in general.
The other four award recipients are:Colin Raley of Young Democrats of America, volunteer of the year Rusty Surette of KWTV, media Rep. Anastasia Pittman, D-Oklahoma City, legislative the Bob Lemon family, Bill Rogers Lifetime Achievement Award
Recipients are not necessarily gay or lesbian. According to Bratcher, recipients are picked for their work on behalf of the LGBT community and not their orientation.
The event begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by the gala at 7 p.m. An official after-party will be held at The Boom, 2807 N.W. 36th, at approximately 9:30 p.m. "Greg Horton