Hero of Hope


We are honored to award our 2019 “Hero of Hope” award to
community activist and The Gayly Editor in Chief, Robin Dorner.

Join us as we honor Robin during our Sunday 6pm worship service on January 20th at 3131 N Penn in Oklahoma City. We will also hold a reception following worship at 7pm in the community hall.

Dorner was raised in Clearwater, Kansas and attended nursing school at Kansas Newman College in Wichita, moving to Oklahoma City in 1983. She has been an activist since the late 1980s when she began volunteering at the Triangle Clinic on 39th St., a free clinic for people living with HIV and AIDS. At the time, she worked as a Registered Nurse in the home health care arena.

Dorner retired from her career as an R.N. after 25 years. From there, she began a career in writing and sales, first with The City Sentinel in 2005 covering issues in Midtown OKC. She also worked at the Metro Star from 2009-2011 which, at that time was the state’s only LGBTQ+ newspaper. When the Star’s editor retired, The Gayly was reborn, and Dorner began freelance work there in early 2011. Soon after, she was placed in charge of operations by the owner, Bob Lemon.

In the summer of 2012, Dorner and her husband, Ken Townsend, purchased The Gayly from Lemon. Dorner and Townsend have operated the newspaper since that time. Currently, she serves on the board of DBA of OKC, the Diversity Business Association, as well as being a board member of Other Options and Friends Food Pantry (OOI). For nearly 10 years she has not only been a board member, but she also serves the organization’s manager of the Humanitarian Medication Program, a service in which recycled meds are collected, organized, categorized, and sent to third-world countries and war-torn areas across the globe.In the past, Dorner has served as a volunteer and board member for numerous organizations focusing on the care and welfare of humans and animals!

We are thrilled to honor all the work that Robin Dorner has done for our community over the years.



The founding mission of the Cathedral of Hope is to reclaim Christianity as a faith of extravagant grace, radical inclusion, and relentless compassion. As such, we seek ways to honor those who embody and live out this mission through lives that are transforming our society at every level. The Hero of Hope is someone who works to:

  1. Change how the world thinks about LGBTQ people;
  2. Change how LGBTQ people think about God;
  3. Reach marginalized people, especially teens living in isolation in small towns; and
  4. Redefine Christianity as an including faith rather than an excluding religion.

The Hero of Hope Award originated in the early 1990s as a way for the Cathedral of Hope to single out and honor people who have courageously taken a stand for LGBTQ rights. The Hero of Hope Award is presented in recognition of those who have taken courageous stands for the rights of all people without regard to gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.



We honor our previous Hero of Hope winners who have made a lasting impact for justice and peace in our community.

Sara Cunningham
Community Activist for the LGBTQ Community
2018 Hero of Hope

Paula Sophia Schonauer
Community Activist for the LGBTQ Community
2017 Hero of Hope

Mary Arbuckle
Executive Director of Other Options, Inc
2016 Hero of Hope

Scott J Hamilton
Former Executive Director of the Cimarron Alliance Equality Center
2014 Hero of Hope

Mr. Ginger Lamar
Community Activist & Entertainer
2013 Hero of Hope

Dr. Ed Shadid
Oklahoma City Councilman & Doctor
2012 Hero of Hope

Bob Lemon
Equal Rights Advocate
2011 Hero of Hope

Kay Holladay
Co-Founder, PFLAG-Norman
2009 Hero of Hope

Jim Roth
Former Corporation Commissioner & County Commissioner
2007 Hero of Hope

Rev. Bruce Lowe
Retired Southern Baptist Pastor
2006 Hero of Hope