The Buckle – Season 1


Play the series trailer above


Select an episode below

The Buckle Episode 1.01 - Genesis

Season one of The Buckle: Gays in the Bible Belt. In this introductory episode, we set the groundwork for stories from the heartland of America and what many consider a controversial subject. We’ll focus on Oklahoma culture, religion, politics, LGBT struggles, and successes. Most episodes start with a specific topic, then are followed by an in-depth interview called Buckle Raw Cuts. Along the way, you’ll discover music videos, puppet shows, encounters with the Westboro Baptist Church, a mystery man who is afraid to reveal his identity and a few other surprises. Length - 7:49

The Buckle Episode 1.02 - Deadly Consequences

Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern garners national attention when she is caught on tape describing homosexuality in America as a cancer that must be eliminated. In the public backlash, Kern’s supporters rally in support and are met with counter protests. The Buckle dives into both sides of the action in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Featured speakers include: Sally Kern, David Bernstein, Justice Waidner, Sheryl Siddiqui, Jerry Fein, Jim Mischler, Martha Hardwick, and Nancy N. McDonald. The Buckle Raw Cuts guest is Laura Belmonte, Ph.D. Length - 13:00

The Buckle Episode 1.03 - About Oklahoma - Part 1

The Buckle explores the state of Oklahoma through stories from Lamont Lindstrom, Paul Ashby, Heather Harp Howland, Brad York, John Hawk Co-cké, Rev. Dr. Scott Jones, Joseph M. Quigley, Laura Belmonte, Ph.D., Cindy Simms and Terri Louise Miller, Ed.D. Tamara Lebak performs her song, “Dear Oklahoma” in a music video and the Buckle Raw Cuts guest is Paul Ashby. Length - 14:43

The Buckle Episode 1.04 - About Oklahoma - Part 2

Further reflections on Oklahoma’s past and present from Lamont Lindstrom, Joseph M. Quigley, Laura Belmonte, Ph.D., Paul Ashby, Betsy Smittle, Bishop Carlton Pearson, and Nancy N. McDonald. The Buckle Raw Cuts guest is Joseph M. Quigley Length - 14:23  


The Buckle Episode 1.05 - The Magical Number Sand Springs, Oklahoma native, Sam Harris gained national attention as a singer on the premier season of Star Search. His subsequent career has included singer, songwriter, actor on broadway, film and television, as well as writer, producer and author. Sam tells his story of growing up and discovering his sexuality and what it’s like returning to Oklahoma to perform after his success. Our crew also catches up with Shirley Phelp-Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church at Tinker Air Force Base as her group protest a soldier’s funeral and claims God hates America. Length - 17:09


The Buckle Episode 1.06 - The Crime Church members confront Tulsa Pride Parade participants set to the song, “Firebrand for Jesus”, recorded as part of the Farm Security Administration’s “Voices of the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sorkin Migrant Workers Collection.” This episode is the start of the story of the man we call Tom. That’s not his real name. He wanted to learn more about gays and lesbians after his brother-in-law came out. Fearing retribution from his family, friends and coworkers, we agreed to hide his identity. Valerie Meador ponders teachings versus beliefs and Buckle Raw Cuts guest is Camilla A. Surber, parent of a lesbian child, paints a picture of her life in Oklahoma Length - 15:36


The Buckle Episode 1.07 - When I Knew - Part 1 Tom hears about the gay Oklahoma community, but has never seen it. Our crew sets off to find Gay, Oklahoma somewhere along the Red River in a music video set to Melineh Kurdian’s song, “Devil’s Girl”. Eric Nelson, Ph.D. talks about where sexual orientation comes from. Michelle Hoffman and Randy Roberts Potts, the grandson of preacher Oral Roberts talk about when they knew they were different. The Buckle Raw Cuts guest is Robert E. Stotler, who entered the Marine Corps to prove he was a real man. Length - 12:32  

Get new episode notifications


The Buckle Episode 1.08 - When I Knew - Part 2

Angel Adams, and John Hawk Co-cké tell stories of when they knew they were different as children. An anthropologist tells stories of other peoples. In this Buckle Raw Cuts, anthropology professor Lamont Lindstrom tells his own.


The Buckle Episode 1.09 - Comfort Zone

Tom questions why his brother-in-law waited so long to decide he was gay. Eric Nelson, Ph.D., answers the question from a clinical standpoint. Discovering sexuality later in life is not confined to men. Janet Molina tells of how looking for diversity in life changed her. In Buckle Raw Cuts, Brad York recounts his struggle with his repressed sexuality, heterosexual marriage, having children, and then coming out later in life.


The Buckle Episode 1.10 - Tom’s Shocker

Introducing The God Show. An irreverent, guitar playing sock puppet has a talk show. Tom learns of a secret that shakes him to his core. Married with children, Amy Ashworth describes her first encounter with a woman, Stacey Herriage. Actress, writer, producer, director J.A. Steel shares her fears of being honored at an Oklahoma film festival in this version of Buckle Raw Cuts.


The Buckle Episode 1.11 - Gay Must Go

The Buckle Crew is at the scene of a gay hate crime with one of the victims, retired Marine, Robert Stotler. Fearing further violence the interview took place at an undisclosed location as Mr. Stotler discovers there is no legal definition of a gay hate crime in Oklahoma. Tom recovers from the latest news and The God Show’s guests include Satin and the Westboro Baptist Church. In Buckle Raw Cuts, Michelle Hoffman tells her story of breaking free from a life of working in a small-town grocery store and finding herself in a greater world.


The Buckle Episode 1.12 - Family Secret

Randy Roberts Potts is the grandson of Oklahoma religion legend Oral Roberts. He discovered a family secret that would not only change his own life, but help him change the lives of others.


The Buckle Episode 1.13 - Pick and Choose

“Do you know the world from A to Z but still can’t find no reason for me, you know. It ain’t that easy just to let go of everything you think you know.” Gary Robert Strickland performs Everything You Think You Know, followed by a protesting lobster and a protesting biblical literalist, outside of a synagogue, expounding on how America will soon be eating our babies. Featuring Paul Ashby and Rabbi Charles P. Sherman. As a straight man, Bryan Beach talks about gays in the military and the mission to defend our constitution.


The Buckle Episode 1.14 - I Can’t be a Better Christian

Heather Harp Howland shares the story of how no amount of faith could save her mother from cancer, but finds God where so-called evil existed.


The Buckle Episode 1.15 - The Hell Concept

Time with the Westboro Baptist Church continues. Bishop Carlton Pearson tells how he began to question the concept of Hell and how he lost his mega-church when he began preaching a gospel of inclusion.


The Buckle Episode 1.16 - Bonus Mom

Stacey Herriage and Amy Ashworth discuss the difficulties of same sex parenting in Oklahoma. Chuckle to the musical humor of Roy Zimmerman in his song, Defenders of Marriage. In Buckle Raw Cuts, learn how Cindy Simms and Terri Miller go to Canada to get married in the days before it was legal in the U.S.


The Buckle Episode 1.17 - Modern Family

Tom tries to discredit the stability of same sex couples. Same sex marriage is examined by Angel Adams, Bill Hinkle, Bishop Carlton Pearson, Laura Belmonte, and Paul Ashby followed by a humorous look at biblical marriage with the comedy of Professor Steven Ray. Buckle Raw Cuts features Kathy and Bill Hinkle, parents of a gay son. Bill is a civil rights lawyer.


The Buckle Episode 1.18 - Turkey Baster

Gary Robert Strickland returns with “The Other Boys” music video. Self-described as a gay, black, jew, T.L. Storrs tells of his evolution from a child in Hugo, Oklahoma to creating a safe school for LGBT teens and then a followup of Mr. Storrs status. 


The Buckle Episode 1.19 - You Don’t Belong Here

Tom’s church found out he was learning about gays and lesbians and all hell broke loose. Valerie Meador dreamed of serving the Lord as a musical evangelist. Her dreams were squashed by Rhema Bible Training Center.


The Buckle Episode 1.20 - Tell Me He’s Sorry

Betsy Smittle, sister of country music superstar Garth Brooks, tells about her life in music, life in The Buckle and how Garth outed her on national television. The experience resulted in Betsy collaborating with Jennifer and Pete Marriott to create the song, “Peak in Your Closet”. Betsy has since passed away and Jennifer and Pete play a tribute performance of the song.


The Buckle Episode 1.21 - Scared Straight

Tom’s continued intolerance of homosexuals has consequences to his own marriage. Angel Adams longs to serve as a church missionary, but will only be allowed if she completes gay to straight conversion therapy. This forces wedges between her, her mother and the church.


The Buckle Episode 1.22 - Recreate the Vision

Nancy McDonald explains how she became involved with PFLAG, formerly know as Parent Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Ryan Dannar Performs “Girl with a Loaded Gun”. Tom gets kicked out of the church.


The Buckle Episode 1.23 - Refuse to Protect

Concerned citizens worked to get the words “sexual orientation” into the non-discrimination policy of Oklahoma City Schools. They were surprised to find that when the document hit the school website the language was included in the non-discrimination policy and the non-bullying policy. Then suddenly it disappeared. The Buckle attends the first school board meeting to find out what happened. The story is told by Terri Miller and Joe Quigley. In Buckle Raw Cuts, teenager Brittney Skinner tell what it’s like to be a child of a gay father.


The Buckle Episode 1.24 - Safe Place

Saddled by friends and family with the stigma of the guy who is learning about gays, Tom’s facade begins to crumble. Our crew follows the development of the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, home of Oklahomans for Equality, seeking out equal rights for LGBT individuals and families through advocacy, education and alliances. Paul White talks about living with HIV in this Buckle Raw Cuts segment.


The Buckle Episode 1.25 - School’s Making Him Gay

As Tom starts to stand up to his detractors, he wonders if teens are experiencing similar rejection. Tim Gillean and Ken Draper founded Openams Youth Project to bring LGBTQ youth and their friends together to build a peer based community that empowers them to end isolation, create a progressive youth voice, increase self-esteem and change the communities in which they live. Dante and the Hawks perform We Loose music video. Richard Ogden talks about growing up in the Oklahoma Panhandle and exodus of gay and lesbian young people from the state in Buckle Raw Cuts.


The Buckle Episode 1.26 - Got It the First Time

John Hawk Co-cké schools Tom about his belief that homosexuality is a modern concept. Janet Molina talks about her bisexuality and small-town life in Buckle Raw Cuts.


The Buckle Episode 1.27 - A True Virgin

John Hawk Co-cké relives his story of growing up a gay Native American. Musical performance of “Red Red State” by Pete Marriott


The Buckle Episode 1.28 - Bill Clinton Definition

Tom looses employment after a scuffle with a co-worker. Reverend Doctor Scott Jones tells his story of growing up in religion, how his mother threatened to kill herself if he was gay, and the Cathedral of Hope.


The Buckle Episode 1.29 - Five to Four

Ramifications of same sex marriage with attorneys Charles Kania and Richard Ogden. Celebration of the landmark Supreme Court decision ensuring the fundamental right to marry at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center.


The Buckle Episode 1.30 - Never Ending Story

Tom’s story concludes. Highlights form the season with additional remarks form Brad York, Heather Harp Howland, Michelle Hoffman, Sam Harris, Rev. Dr. Scott Jones and Paul Ashby. Season Credits