Heather Harp Howland, Diva

by Michael Mason


During the day, Heather Harp Howland was the larger-than-life personality who operated the England & Harp antique shop on Cherry Street. But during nights and weekends, “Heather Harp” (as her friends called her) was a fierce supporter of LGBT rights in Tulsa. In fact, she was instrumental in the founding of the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center in downtown Tulsa, home of Oklahomans for Equality.

In this episode, we hear from Equality Center programming president Toby Jenkins who shared a similar spiritual past with Heather Harp: they both grew up in churches that excluded–and sometimes attempted to “convert”–homosexuals. Today, several local churches in Tulsa are now considered supportive friends of the gay rights community, a fact that brought enormous pride to Harp.