You may have noticed a survey
floating around Facebook or other corners of the intertubes. (We found it on our pal Ed Reggi'
s page.) If you're a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender community, for heaven's sake, take it!
, which is being conducted by Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE) Metro St. Louis
and ONE St. Louis
, is attempting to paint a clear and qualitative picture of who our LGBT community is and what's needed in terms of health and human services--which in turn will allow the existing nonprofit network to do a better job of meeting those needs.
"As a member of the community, I can say 'till the cows come home that
the lack of inclusive LGBT services is an issue for the community," says
Sherrill Wayland, executive director of SAGE."The importance of this survey
is really to provide some baseline data on the LGBT community in regard to health and human services needs."
Wayland points out that plenty of LGBT-oriented nonprofits exist in the
city and metro area, but in order for them to be competitive for grants
and in order to understand what the community needs, they need a clearer
picture of who the community is.
"We have a lot of information on the population in
general, but most academic research doesn't specifically ask about the
LGBT community," says Wayland."Whenever you see research that's coming
out of academia, that
research is assuming everyone's straight."
has been running online since the summer and will remain open until the
end of the year, asks for basic data like your age, sexual identity and
partnership situation. It also gathers information on participants'
experiences seeking health care and other human services.
Wayland tells us that a few issues are emerging as clear priorities. The
community would like more outreach from LGBT-friendly doctors and more
support groups. She also says responses indicate that members of the
community would prefer to patronize businesses and services with clear
nondiscrimination policies in place and that had formal training in LGBT
The data is being collected and analyzed by SAGE and ONE St. Louis, but
Wayland says it will be shared with their network of nonprofits and
health and human services providers. (Check SAGE's site for a look at
that network, and to find referrals.)
So far, about 400 people have taken the survey
It took well under ten minutes to complete, and none of the questions
were too onerous. (You can go for essay questions, or just stick to
Wayland says they'd love to have 1,000 responses, so get clickin'. Post
it on your Facebook! Forward it to your friends, instead of yet another LOLca