Regarding Saturday demonstrations by the group calling itself the “Hiwaymen” in Ada:

Dear Editor,

While we are saddened, angered and hurt by the presence of such an emboldened display of hate and prejudice, we want people to see that it exists.

Our reality living in Ada and surrounding communities is fear on a daily basis — afraid to hold hands with our partners in public, afraid to dress and present the way we want, afraid to speak our truth. It is time to come out of the shadows and coexist with members of our community. We are sick of being afraid and shouldn’t have to be.

We have no “agenda” other than to feel safe walking down the street. We are not asking anyone to wave a rainbow flag in support. We don’t need anyone to go against their convictions and “agree” with who we are. But, we are asking for people of the community who preach love to stand beside us and reject such hate and bigotry, to speak out against prejudice, whether it be racism, homophobia, transphobia, white nationalism or any other, loudly. We simply ask to be allowed to exist.

We are your neighbors, friends, people who sit in the same pew as you on Sundays and people that you love. We would like to thank members of the community who have already stepped up and spoken out, and we welcome any and all support at future events condemning hate.

As Malcolm X said: “If not now, then when? If not me, then who?”

If you are a member of the LGBTQA demographic or an ally in need of community, please find us on our Facebook page: Central Oklahoma Diversity Alliance, or email us at centralokdiversityalliance@gmail.com.

Central Oklahoma Diversity Alliance, Ada

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