Hello there, FreeOK fans and supporters. I’d like to share a quick personal story as my first post, before getting down to FreeOK blogging business.
It was the late spring of 2012 and I had recently decided to take the leap of admitting to my very religious family and social circle in general that I was an atheist, and high on my list of needs was support from sympathetic and like-minded individuals. I was plugged into a rudimentary level of secular social media already, and through the grapevine I heard about a freethought convention right here in Oklahoma.
So I packed up my boyfriend, another good friend, and some random people who said they were interested and drove from Tahlequah to Tulsa to attend the 2012 FreeOK Convention. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and to tell the truth I was a bit nervous. I didn’t know what the majority of secular people were like, and I didn’t know what kind of reception such a convention would get in Tulsa.
I left FreeOK 2012 happy and energized. I had the urls and Facebooks of secular groups in the area, a few personal phone numbers, and thanks to the inspiring speakers and the friendly generosity of my fellow conference-goers, I had a new feeling of belonging, of being part of something important. My involvement in the secular movement has only been bigger and better since then, and it started with FreeOK.
This is the value of conventions, especially in highly religious areas like Oklahoma. So thank you, FreeOK organizers, supporters, speakers, and attendees. I’m sure there are many stories like mine out there.
Let’s keep ‘em coming.