In this issue of This Land, we explore the various meanings of pride. Holly Wall hangs out with big cats and studies the “Tiger King” in his natural habitat. Beau Adams takes a trip to Liberty Flags and finds pride for purchase in myriad fabrics and dimensions. Randy Roberts Potts spends the day with OKC’s colorful one-man pride parade, and Tamara Lebak experiments with religious regalia. Plus, Tom Boettcher sends us a letter remembering Oklahoma Monthly magazine. From the Oklahoma Monthly archives, Mike Boettcher delves into the nuances of sex-reassignment surgery in 1970s Oklahoma.
FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE: With an ailing Brezhnev at the helm of the Soviet Union, a Russian man set up shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the intention of educating people about the craftsmanship inherent to American-made flags. By Beau Adams.
UNDER THE COLLAR: Tamara Lebak is the first openly gay minister of a church that began in Tulsa in 1921. This year, she’s committed to wearing a collar every day except Sunday in an effort to embrace and explore its advantages and confines, as well as Oklahoma’s culture and her role as a minister.
KING OF PRIDE: Randy Roberts Potts meets Floyd Martin, a one-man pride parade, at ground zero of Oklahoma City’s gay community.
WILD COUNTRY: Joe Exotic is a model, a magician, a country music singer, and a self-proclaimed “Tiger King.” And, according to animal welfare advocates, he’s a lynchpin in the country’s exotic animal trade. Holly Wall reports from Wynnewood, Oklahoma.
THE STORIES MATTER: In this letter, Tom Boettcher remembers and celebrates the zeitgeist of Oklahoma Monthly, a progressive magazine committed to courageous journalism in the 1970s.
OUR DAUGHTER WAS AN ONLY SON: In 1975, Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City became the premier sex-change operation facility in the country, unbeknownst to their Baptist board. Mike Boettcher reports, and interviews Joana Clark about life before and after her surgery at Baptist. From the Oklahoma Monthly archives.
ORIGINAL OKIE: Toby Jenkins is the executive director of Oklahomans for Equality and the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center.