Why It’s Important for Transgender Americans, Tea Partiers to Be Counted in Census

So the U.S. Census Bureau, which asks that you kindly return the census form in the postage-paid envelope so they don’t have to come knock on your door a half dozen times, invited LGBT Americans to star in videos explaining why it’s important for this nationwide Big Brother counting of citizens. Oh, and they also asked Karl Rove to join the fun.

That should cover every demographic in need of nudging, yes?

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One Comment

  • gina

    Much as I respect Mason, it’s not THAT simple. Firstly, there is no place on the census alloted to identifying one’s trans status. So how does marking your gender identity allow the government to have a sense of our populations need/allocation of resources? Unless you “queer the census” by putting a sticker or adding extra text (which, let’s face it, the census is probably not that crazy about) you won’t be counted as trans and our community is, in essence, invisible. Realistically, many people in the imposed “transgender umbrella” are cross-dressers or closeted and are highly unlikely to even let their partners know their status. Therefore, even taking the census by household become a threatening process to many trans people.

    Furthermore, there are genderqueer people who don’t ID as female or male… if they were to mark both or neither, it requires census workers to go back and get one or the other designation from you. They won’t count statistics if they aren’t part of the form, therefore, genderqueer people are invisible.

    Finally, as to security, those assurances don’t mean much. We’ve had so many security breeches in the US, government workers leaving their laptops in their car, office break-ins, places like Los Alamos (which are likely with much high security clearances than the Census) have had serious lapses in security. I disagree that we really know census workers, who don’t go through any meaningful clearance process in terms of their attitudes towards trans people (or honesty), will not use something like transgender status as a stigma.

    For myself I’m torn. I’m a woman and certainly ID’d myself as that on the census. I would be interested to know the actual gender-variant/trans population of the US but neither do I want to identify myself as some “third gender/other” category (although some trans people do). No, sorry, it’s NOT simple in the least. Essentially, we remain, in terms of official numbers, an invisible people.

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