Montgomery Co. launches ‘first-of-its-kind’ survey of LGBTQ+ residents

When it comes to health, wellness and access to resources, certain groups in the community may be getting left out. That’s why Montgomery County, Maryland, wants to hear from its LGBTQ+ residents.

“We believe the survey is a first-of-its-kind,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. He said the survey is meant to identify and “ultimately address social issues and unforeseen barriers faced by the LGBTQ community.”

The survey is available on the county’s website through July 15. Participation is anonymous, though the website states emails will be collected to distribute gift cards and prizes.

Elrich said those in the LGBTQ+ community should participate in the survey so the county can better understand their concerns and deliver what they need.

“It’s crucial in helping us fulfill our goal of making sure that everyone feels safe and welcome in Montgomery County,” he said.

The survey is available in several languages, including English, Chinese, French and Spanish.

At the media briefing announcing the survey, Montgomery County’s LGBTQ+ liaison Dr. Amena Johnson was asked if there are issues she expects to be raised by survey responses.

Johnson, who was brought on as the county’s LGBTQ+ liaison a year and a half ago, said by being in such close proximity to D.C., many LGBTQ+ people in surrounding counties simply expect to go to the District for services.

“While there are some services for LGBTQ people in Montgomery County … I want to know what other services that folks aren’t getting in the county that they would like to get,” she said.

“We don’t plan to sit on this data. We plan to use it to create a safer and more affirming Montgomery County for the LGBTQ+ community,” Johnson said in a separate news release.

On Sunday, June 26, Montgomery County plans to host its second annual LGBTQ+ Pride in the Plaza festival at Veterans Plaza in Downtown Silver Spring. People attending the event will be invited to fill out the survey.

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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