Queer the Census is a movement that has been working tirelessly for LGBTQ voices. Their goal is to get questions about gender and sexual orientation added to the ten year national census, and it’s a goal that most people agree with. This count would yield important data that can be used to guide healthcare, social services and policy for LGBTQ people. Over 100,000 people used Queer the Census stickers last time to demand gender and orientation be counted.
This Tuesday, a draft report of the 2020 census questions was released, and contained both gender and orientation! People fighting for this were briefly elated, until the Trump admin pulled the football, deleting that information and claiming it was all just a mistake. “Oooops.” Typical bully move. This isn’t even a partisan issue, over 80 of our legislators worked together across the aisle to ask for these questions to be added.
Among the very super necessary critical questions that were pitched and KEPT are what type of plumbing is in your home, and how long is your commute. Okay, commuting info IS important, but so is gender and sexual orientation. “If the government doesn’t know how many LGBTQ people live in a community, how can it do its job to ensure we’re getting fair and adequate access to the rights, protections and services we need?," asked Meghan Maury of the National LGBTQ Task Force.
The official Census Bureau reply contained no details. “The Subjects Planned for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey report released today inadvertently listed sexual orientation and gender identity as a proposed topic in the appendix," they said a dry statement. The White House refused to elaborate, but their strategy is pretty clear. Just last week this administration removed LGBTQ questions from the survey called "Older Americans Act." Those questions and resulting data were used in funding and services for elderly LGBTQ people.
Sarah Kate Ellis from GLAAD said, “By erasing LGBTQ Americans from the 2020 U.S. Census, the Trump Administration is adding a disgusting entry to a long list of tactics they’ve adopted to legally deny services and legitimacy to hard-working LGBTQ Americans.”
Removing and erasing is a great way for Trumpers to claim they aren’t homophobic while harming actual people. Disgusting, indeed.
By Being Liberal contributor: Sarah Ficca