A few annual events put the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community front and center in our region. But outside of parades and festivals, it's unclear as to how we rate in terms of tolerance.
How tolerant do you think Colorado Springs is? Our town is so conservative and has been forever. It's better now than it was, but it's still not great.
Can you name an instance of the Springs at its most tolerant? They had a rally downtown. I think that's the most tolerant I've seen.
Where have you seen the most acceptance of LGBT people? When I was in L.A.
Do you know any LGBT people? How do they speak of their experience? I do. They all moved from out of state to here. Really, from where they moved from — like California — it's pretty accepting. They move here and they have to be really careful.
What do you think causes intolerance? I think the way people were raised and the environment they were brought up in. Religious backgrounds definitely have a lot to do with it.
Can you think of an instance of Colorado Springs at its most accepting? I think just the festivals and parades we have every year.
At its least accepting? I try not to see it too much.
Where have you seen the most acceptance? Denver is really amazing; Austin, Texas. A lot more places are more accepting than here, but we're evolving.
Do you know any LGBT people, and how do they speak of their experience? Oh yeah, a few. For the most part they're pretty strong-willed people. They know themselves and they stick to their guns.
What do you think causes a society to be intolerant toward LGBT people? Fear of the unknown.
How accepting of a community is Colorado Springs? Way tolerant.
Can you name an instance of Colorado Springs at its most accepting? I'd say definitely within the school community. I see a lot of kids with a mom and mom, a dad and dad.
Can you think of an instance of Colorado Springs at its least accepting? I'd say the city and city officials. You don't ever see a gay person as a gas meter reader or police officer or stuff like that.
Throughout your life, where have you seen the most acceptance? Honestly, the west side of Colorado Springs.
— Kevin Kehl