One Colorado, a new statewide gay-rights organization that's actually an umbrella for a trio of organizations including an advocacy group, a non-profit education group and a political action committee, is attempting to use 53 questions, in the form of a survey, to answer one: What is it like to be LGBT in Colorado in 2010?
"There are plenty of people out there who would like to define our community for us. We have more than enough of them in this state," says Bobby Clark, chairman of One Colorado's board. "So we said, 'Let's define our community ourselves. Let's tell people what our lives are like.'"
The survey starts by asking basic demographic questions: age, sex, location, sexual orientation. But it quickly gets to meatier topics: whether takers have ever been denied housing or jobs because of their sexual orientation and whether they've been victims of verbal abuse, domestic violence or homophobia.
Other topics queried include takers' health insurance coverage -- and whether it extends to domestic partners. The survey also asks whether takers are "out" to their family and co-workers, and whether they regularly attend religious services.
"A lot of people might not realize how many LGBT people are people of faith who attend services every Sunday," Clark says.
The survey will be up until February 26, and Clark says the results will be compiled shortly thereafter. One Colorado, which was launched in December, doesn't have a specific agenda yet, he says, so he's not sure exactly how the survey results will be used -- except to say that he hopes they'll advance One Colorado's goal of evening the playing field for the LGBT community.
"Ultimately, we want full equality in all matters of law, period," Clark says. "But how we go about that -- we'll define that with our staff, with the broader community and with our allies."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.