Skip Navigation

LGBTQ+

Four Students on Campus; One student holding a pride flag

LGBTQ+ Students

The University of Oklahoma is committed to maintaining a supportive campus environment where each individual feels welcomed, valued, and supported for success. The OU family is here to champion and encourage students in the LGBTQ+ community. We also value the support from the allies of the LGBTQ+ community. This page is designed to aid LGBTQ+ students and their allies as they navigate the college admissions process and explore the resources and community awaiting them on our campus.

Resources and Events

Refer to the lists below to learn more about a variety of events and organizations dedicated to your success at the University of Oklahoma, both before and after you arrive on campus. This includes information about our more than 680 student organizations, details about events during which you can learn more about what life is like at OU, academic and financial resources, and more. 

On-Campus Events

  • Crimson & Queens
  • Queer Tour
  • Drag Bingo
  • LGBTQ+ Meet and Greet
  • LGBTQ History Month
  • QTBIPOC Dinner
  • Awareness and Visibility Series
  • Lavender Graduation
  • LGBTQ+ Aspiring Ally Training
  • Norman Pride

Visit our website for the most up-to-date information about our on-campus events.

Meet Current LGBTQ+ Students

Jerry Lessley
Jerry Lessley (he/him)

Class of 2022 | M.S. Petroleum Engineering | Sallisaw, OK

“After being the only out kid in high school, finding a home at the GEC and having the opportunity to create a sense of community for myself and other students is something I wouldn't trade for the world."

Doran Walters
Doran Walters (she/they)

Class of 2024 | Animal Care | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

"It can be hard to feel comfortable in your identity in a new place. When you have support and a forgiving environment to explore that identity, it can be so much easier to love yourself. Find people who love you for you."

Meet LGBTQ+ Alumni

Alex Morales
Alex Morales

Class of 2022, Political Science
Current Occupation: Advocacy Fellow with Dream Action Oklahoma
From: Madill, OK

 “My time at OU was filled with love and support from all corners of campus, especially the GEC! The connections I made there were so genuine. The support I received significantly helped me through any hardships I faced.”

Caroline Sparks
Caroline Sparks

Class of 2022, Sociology, Public Relations, Social Justice
Current Occupation: Tulsa Service Year Fellow at Women In Recovery
From: Tulsa, OK

“College, for me, was a time of acknowledging and embracing who I am. I was able to learn, grow, and be celebrated by incredible OU staff and new friends I made along the way. My OU community is one I’ll carry with me forever, no matter where I am!”

Erin Simpson
Erin Simpson

Class of 2006 and Class of 2008, Elementary Education & Adult and Higher Education 
Current Occupation: Director, Gender + Equality Center
From: Sedan, KS

“My time at OU was transformative. I found a home, the opportunity to be my most authentic self, and discovered a career path I am passionate about. Now I get to work toward ensuring students feel the same way about their own time here at the University of Oklahoma.”

Frequently Asked Questions

LGBTQ+ Students FAQ

The University of Oklahoma will use your preferred first name (not first name) in many communications. This includes communication that may be sent to you, your parent/guardian or admissions counselors and staff regarding your profile. Please utilize a preferred name you are comfortable with being addressed by with these audiences. If you do not indicate a preferred first name, it will default to your first name on file.

Yes! According to the University Restroom Access Statement, the University supports the option of individuals to use the restroom that meets their individual needs or in which they feel safest. View a list of Unisex and Family Bathrooms (pdf) on campus. 

Although Oklahoma is located in the “Bible Belt” of the USA, this state holds a large variety of demographics. Liberal leaning communities tend to congregate in more urban cities such as Tulsa, OKC, Lawton, and Norman. All of which hold their own respective OU college extensions. The city of Norman has a nondiscrimination policy that prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, while the cities of Edmond, Oklahoma City and Tulsa have nondiscrimination policies that prohibit discrimination in public employment on account of sexual orientation. Norman, home of the University of Oklahoma, became the first city in the state to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance for LGBTQ people. Norman's progressive policies toward gay residents is evident in it's Human Rights Campaign index score, which is 30 points above the second-highest ranked Oklahoma city in the index.

Sometimes community living can be a source of stress for LGBTQ+ and underrepresented students. OU Housing and Food Services works with all students to ensure they have a safe and affirming housing assignment that meets their individual needs. They work with students on an individual basis to help assist with what would make them thrive within on-campus housing. Many of our professional staff, including all of Residence Life, have completed Aspiring Ally and DEI Training training to help better understand the unique issues within their community.We encourage all those with concerns about housing and their gender or sexual identity to reach out to OU Housing and Food Services directly.

The community in Norman is progressive and robust. Since 2010, the City Council of Norman has celebrated October as the LGBTQ+ History Month and has issued multiple proclamations over the years to make this official. Norman Pride is also hosted and celebrated annually within the city featuring vendors, live music, and a parade to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community. Moreover, the city of Norman was the first in the state banning the practice of conversion therapy and prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and marital status as a same-sex couple in housing, employment, and public accommodations. This ordinance is the first of its kind in the state and has propelled Norman to a score of 92 on The Municipal Equality Index. This is far above the state average of 32 and the national average of 60. Oklahoma City’s close proximity to campus lends a hand in expanding the off-campus community and the larger LGBTQ+ community in the area.

Everyone is on their own journey toward being a better ally for different communities, including the LGBTQ+ community on campus. The Gender + Equality Center is offering different educational opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to continue to develop their knowledge and allyship skills through their series of Aspiring Allies workshops. As allies, it is important to show up to show support for the community. LGBTQ+ Programs hosts a wide variety of different events such as LGBTQ+ Allies Meet & Greet, different educational events, or large scale events such as Crimson & Queens or Proudly Gleaming: an LGBTQ+ Homecoming event.

This is totally up to you to decide. This is your opportunity to control your narrative and the way you want your story to be told. Plus, you can help OU understand what role your sexual or gender identity plays in your life. We want to find out as much as we can in your application so we can get to know you better. We also want to connect you to information and resources on campus so you can find your community at OU. However if you are not out and you’re not ready to disclose this in your application, or perhaps doing so would not be ideal due to your environment or family situation, we also understand that. When in doubt, you can have a conversation with your OU Admissions Counselor to determine what would be the best option for you.

Connect With Us

DEP Interns
Contact Diversity Enrichment Programs

OU's Diversity Enrichment Programs is here to assist you with any questions you and your family may have throughout the admissions and enrollment process. Contact us by email at dep@ou.edu, phone at 405-325-2151, or text at 405-400-1384.

Bizzell Memorial Library
Sign Up for Our Mailing List

If you do not already receive emails from OU, fill out this form! We will use the information you provide to connect you with academic, scholarship, admission, student life information and opportunities, and more.

OU Campus Tour
LGBTQ+ Programs within the GEC

The LGBTQ+ Program is a function of the Gender + Equality Center. The program works towards cultivating an affirming, educational, and diverse community for LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff at the University of Oklahoma by providing engagement opportunities and educational resources.