Alex Blaze

Should we be counting the queers?

Filed By Alex Blaze | March 31, 2010 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: bisexuals, LGBT, queer, task force, US Census

The Task Force realized that not every gay person is in a couple, and not every queer person can be found by asking about relationships, so they're protesting the fact that there's no question about sexuality or gender identity by distributing this sticker to put on the Census envelope:


The motivation is good - it'd be nice to have an accurate count of how many of us there are and to know where we all live and to get that sort of data on people. But....

The Census doesn't ask about a lot of things. There's no question on the Census forms most people will be filling out about religion, income level, education, documentation, languages spoke, or marital history. It'd also be nice to know all of those things, but they aren't asking.

Even if the Census asked, it'd be far from accurate. There are plenty of men who have sex with men who don't identify as gay or bisexual (like Larry Craig). There are plenty of transsexual people who don't identify as transgender. And there are plenty of people who'd rather not say even if they do identify as bi, gay, or trans. I remember an anonymous survey my college would do, and it asked "What do you identify as to your friends?" followed by "What do you identify as to yourself?" The data collected were very different, especially when it came to the percentage of people who identified as bisexual. And that didn't get into the personal grounds of behavior or the murky question of attraction.

Anyway, this is all academic to me since I've been living off and on in the Hated Anti-Real America for the past five years and will not be in the US on April first. What do you think? Should the Census ask about sexuality and transgender status?

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Well, as one of those transsexuals who doesn't identify as Transgender, I can say that I sorta felt left out by the sticker.

But then, I don't identify as a transsexual, that's just what I am.

I believe that at the very least, Trans people -- not merely transgender but all the sorts -- need to be counted.

For a crap load of different reasons, but all of them boil down to this one simple thing:

The longer we go without knowing, the longer we will be held back in the aspects of equality and equity in society.

We know how many woemn there are, how many men there are, how many people of a given religion there are, how many people of various race and various ethnic backgrounds there are -- and iven when we don't know exactly, we can make a damned good guess.

And having that information affects stuff that's critical. It affects how dollars are spent by the government, it affects medical research, it affects all the things we don't see.

A count, even of just the identifying people, would destroy many of the arguments that are used against all of us.

And, of course, as a social scientist, it has a great personal value to me, as it would allow me to be more effective in my work and my analysis.

IT would allow us to identify needs and gaps more readily, and develop the beiginning of a critical mass of statistical data that is absent.

The biggest complaint of insurance companies? No data. The biggest complaint of Congress critters? No data. The biggest complaint of activists? No data.

This gives us data.

And I like that stuff. Information is power.

Count me out if you insist on using the radical, subculture term "queer." It's difficult enough to get same-sex oriented people to identify as gay in a post-gay culture; you don't make it any easier insisting that their sexual orientation is "queer."

For good or bad, I could have sent the Census form off over two weeks ago. Instead I waited on my sticker to arrive, checked Transgendered and mailed it off. While I have certain problems with the approach of using the sticker I felt the end result outweighed my concerns and reservations. The fact is if anyone wished to look into it a bit, there would be little to keep them from discovering my former name as it is still on the property here, and my "tracks" are not totally hidden. After all the last time around I was in the same place, provided much the same replies except checked the male box where as this time I checked the female one.

Intersting already mailed mine back but thats a wee bit to much info far as imconcerend and the Teabaggers were already haveing fits over the form with what little it did ask!

Hmm lets see im trans lesbian pagan for extra info that wont appear on the form.
Any ways fill it in and send it back no matter what isnt asked .

Politics is a contact sport with no rules.

And what the hell does the govt need to know how many "straight allies" there are?

I'm guessing that's just part of the protest, not the actual box. This isn't going to be counted, people.

planetspinz | April 1, 2010 4:00 AM

since the whole purpose of the census is to decide congressional districts & how much federal money neighborhoods get, will it make any difference to know who is queer or not? If we'll get more pro-gay congressional districts or the streets around gay community centers will be paved, then maybe it would be a good idea. Then again if more cops will be concentrated in our neighborhoods not to protect us but to raid our bars illegally, then maybe it's not such a good idea. It all depends on what we expect to get out of a queer census category.

As it is this census is obviously racist - one drop of African blood and one drop of Latino blood and one drop of Caucasian blood and people are expected to be pick African American.

It is very doubtful at all that the Census Bureau will do anything at all with the information on the "Queer the Census' stickers, but I personally see that the action will be visible to them, ie, hopefully a sea of pink stickers. Then again, should they actually count the demographics be counted, one would hope that those that didn't see a box to check that identified themseves, one would hope that they created one and checked it.

Very true that the census as governed now doesn't really go too far in describing much of anyone specifically, but I see being able to identify as 'transgender' as a means leading to the day we are counted. That in itself is important, we become 'commonplace' instead of a marginalized portion of society. No, I will not get into the fray of what transgender means, but it certainly seems less offensive as than that being of being described as 'gender variant' a term in my view, that makes us appear to be laboratory animals.

But let's take a quick trip into the Census: I am a transsexual female married to a gay male. Following the Census' guidelines, I identify as female (though my GM needs yet to be changed) and marked it so. The real crux came when we filed out the census, it comes across that my husband and I are a hetero (opposite sex) married couple. Thus we 'queered the census' to identify our demographics a bit clearer, ie, myself as transgender and my husband as gay.

Oh yeah, I created a box called "Pansexual" for myself and checked that as well.

We all know that AIDS in the 80s hit the LGBT community hard because we saw it.

But how's the data that backs that up? The better the count the better we can prove disparities. Which can be a matter of life and death.

I just wish that it was being done by an inclusive LGBT organization and not the nGLtf. Too bad they didn't just design stickers as inclusive and representative of the community. Instead they had to put their name on it to insure that the census can demonstrate how important the nGLtf is.
I'll just write it on there and I don't even have to use their advertising. Kudos Ms. Montague for staying out of advertising. President Palin and Vice President Huckabee will know where and who we are when they have Secretary of Homo Security Elaine Donnelly round us up at Camp Jesus for mandatory treatment covered by ObamaCare