The Gay Alliance Community Survey is an annual opportunity for the agency to connect with the LGBTQ communities in Rochester and identify with whom we are connecting, what people think of us, and how we can improve as an organization. It is a critical tool in our organizational process, which informs and shapes our programming into the future. In total, 536 people took the 2015 Community Survey.
The most common survey-taker was a white gay man over the age of 30. Nine out of ten survey respondents were white, while only one in twenty was African American. Three quarters of participants were at least 30 years old. Almost half (48%) of all survey-takers self-identified as male, while slightly fewer (45%) self-identified as female, and a bit more than a tenth (12%) labeled themselves as transgender. Two fifths reported their sexual orientation as gay, while a quarter reported identifying as lesbian. One in ten participants was a full-time student, 18% of participants reported identifying as a person with mental/cognitive/emotional or physical disabilities, and 6% of participants reported being unemployed when they took the survey.
Most participants in the survey held a positive opinion of the Gay Alliance. Almost nine in ten survey participants were either very familiar or somewhat familiar with Gay Alliance events while three quarters were very or somewhat familiar with our services, and four fifths were very or somewhat familiar with our programs. Slightly under one third of survey participants were members of the Gay Alliance. Three in five participants had not contributed financially to the agency, primarily due to cost. The Pride Parade was attended by a majority of participants, and was ranked “very” or “somewhat” important by nine in ten respondents. The top five most important events/services/programs to survey-takers were: the Pride Parade, the Pride Festival, training programs, the Pride Picnic, and youth programs.
Youth services were listed as most valuable to the community; nearly nine tenths of respondents listed them as “very important”. At least half of participants said they would use a directory of LGBTQ owned/friendly businesses, would use a similar directory of LGBTQ friendly medical providers, would attend social events outside of bars, or would attend educational programs. The topics of most interest to survey-takers were social and political issues, LGBTQ history, and LGBTQ legal issues.
Findings from our Community Survey will impact our programming decisions for 2016. It is clear from survey responses that youth services continue to be most valuable to the community, which will be reflected as we grow our LGBTQ Scholarship Fund to develop young LGBTQ leaders in the Rochester area. With Rochester Pride events topping the charts we intend to grow them to make Pride 2016 better than ever. We will be enhancing our educational programs, adding new topics and certifications. We’d like to extend our deepest gratitude to everyone who took the survey; your contributions will play an important part in our work in the coming year.