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Meet Oklahoma's Rising Queer Star in the State Senate


At 27, Allison Ikley-Freeman has an impressive resume and she's bringing it to the front lines in her state. 

Allison Ikley-Freeman isn't the first lesbian elected to Oklahoma's state senate, but she may be the most ambitious as a twenty-something.

The 27-year-old is also an activist who got a very early start at the age of 15 when she threatened to sue her rural high school if they didn't allow same-sex couples to attend prom together. At the time, she really had no concept that what she was doing was the textbook definition of advocacy. Since then, she has been very active supporting a variety of causes. (Lesbian legislator Kay Floyd, who was elected to the state senate in 2014, no doubt helped pave the way.)

As a young adult, she helped Oklahomans for Equality build their volunteer program and now sits on their Board of Directors. In her current role she helps OkEq provide much-needed therapy at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center to those at risk in the community. She also assists the trans community and gender non-conforming individuals gain access to affirming hormone therapy.

When Sen. Ikley-Freeman is not leading the fight against anti-LGBTQ bills in her role as a legislator, she is working to create relationships with the authors of those bills. As a therapist, she knows many of these bills are written because the authors don't have strong friendships with those targeted by their outdated biases and prejudices.

"It's funny. I can't move anywhere in the LGBTQ+ community without someone outing me as a Senator," she says. "I know it's because they are proud. Proud to have the representation."


Editor's note: An earlier version of this article misreported that Ickley-Freeman was the first openly lesbian person to be elected to the State Senate.

Sen. Kay Floyd was and remains in office today as the minority leader.

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