Bring your Census out of the closet

Posted on 02 Apr 2010 at 11:01am

queer_the_census_sticker

If you’re like me and haven’t yet sent in your Census, that might be OK — for now. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Queer the Census campaign is providing a sticker to seal your return envelope that makes a pretty hefty statement. The campaign’s efforts are “to push for an LGBT-inclusive question on the Census.”All you have to do is go to the site, print out the above sticker and affix it if you want a bit more inclusion in 2020.

Read more about the Task Force’s initiative after the jump.

The census tells the story of who we are as a nation, and that includes LGBT people — but only when we participate, and only when we’re fully counted. Thanks to the collection of unmarried partner data, a more complete picture of who we are has emerged. For example, we know that:

* Same-sex couples live in 99% of all US Counties.
* LGBT parents live in 97% of all US Counties.
* Black and Latino same-sex couples are raising children at almost the same rates as their heterosexual peers, but on lower incomes ($10,000/yr less).

For the first time in history, the Census will count both unmarried same-sex partners and legally married same-sex spouses in its 2010 survey! This advancement is due in great part to advocacy by the Task Force, and our members and supporters.

Still, there is no question on the 2010 census that asks individuals if they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender — and LGBT questions are not included in almost all other major federal surveys.

It’s a big problem. The census, which counts everyone living in the United States every ten years, provides the data that is used to determine funding and policy priorities at the national and state level.

Being counted isn’t just a numbers game, but a question of whether the LGBT community gets access to the resources that support our health, economic well-being, safety and families. The LGBT community must be visible — and that means participating in the census, but it also means being counted fully. (From QueerTheCensus.org.)

Now, if people give you flak for not getting it out on Census Day (has this always been around?), just say you waited to give yours a little extra flair.

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