Out of the closet and the census

The 2020 Census will fail to question citizens about their sexual orientation.

Now, this doesn’t quite come as a shock considering the fact past censuses have also conveniently left out questions concerning sexual orientation and identity.

But what does come as a shock is the U.S. Census Bureau’s decision to slap LGBT+ folk in the face on March 27 by releasing the Planned Subjects for the 2020 Census Report, which included a sexual orientation and identity category – only to retract the report and issue the following statement: “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.”

Pardon?

The report goes on to justify the Bureau’s “inadvertent” mistake with this quick “fun-fact”: “Neither the U.S. Census, nor the American Community Survey, had ever included questions about sexual orientation or transgender status. (In fact, no federal survey even during the Obama years included questions on transgender status, although some included sexual-orientation questions.)”

So, with that being said – fine.

Don’t count LGBT+ constituents in the 2020 Census.

If the officials writing the census feel it is unnecessary to include sexual orientation and identity just because past surveys have, including even those during the Obama years, then the country clearly is not ready to handle the responsibility of recognizing such a marginalized group.

Of course, I think it’s important for us to have recognition.

Of course, I think it’s important to have representation.

But, that recognition and representation could carry a hefty price tag.

During WWII, the government gained access to and abused census information from the census that was used to help send Japanese Americans to internment camps.

I’m not proposing the government will do the same to our country’s LGBT+ population, but living under today’s untrustworthy administration – who’s to say something similar couldn’t happen?

Until our country can quit debating over who can and cannot use a toilet – I’m fine lurking in the gay shadows.

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