Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

OP-ED: Census 2020 is complicated for LGBTQ people, but it counts
by Glenn D. Magpantay
2020-05-13

This article shared 2129 times since Wed May 13, 2020
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


By now, everyone should have received a mailing from the U.S. Census Bureau to get counted. I have complicated feelings about the census.

While the census is critically important to ensure a fair allocation of funding for services and political representation, it will not deliver the full acceptance and freedom of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. After all, it's a government survey. It will not capture the breadth of human experience in America today. So why are my feelings about it " complicated?

It's about me and who I am

Some aspects of my identity are reflected in the census. I'm gay. There is no census question asking about sexual orientation. Yet, the relationship question counts same-sex married spouses and unmarried partners. While being a same-sex couple is a poor proxy for sexual orientation, the 2010 census uncovered more than 700,000 same-sex couples in the United States.

I'm a dad of an adopted African-American child. Many LGBTQ people build families through adoption. The census counts transracial families. In fact, every year census data is used to allocate $8 Billion for foster care and adoption assistance that can help queers start families.

But it doesn't reflect my community

At the same time, my community is erased. Trans and gender non-conforming people must respond to a binary sex question. They must choose between their sex assigned at birth or how they identity today. The census asks about biology, not identity, and today while Facebook has more than 52 genders, the U.S. government only has two. It sucks.

Even India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Washington and Oregon states recognize a third gender. I and my organization, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance ( NQAPIA ), have urged the Census Bureau to recognize all of our community.

It's critically important

In the midst of the CO-VID 19 pandemic, health care is especially critical. The census is used to allocate $311 Billion in medical assistance annually, according to the George Washington University Institute for Public Policy. More resources flow to where there is greater need based on the relative size of the population.

I teach a class on Asian American queerness at Hunter College CUNY. So many of my students benefit from the $29 billion in financial aid ( Pell Grants ) for college every year.

I came out in the 1980s, at the height of the AIDS crisis. When I was in ACT UP, I fought hard to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. The census continues to be used to allocate $645 Million in HIV funding.

I could go on and recount the importance of an accurate census:

—$457 million for community mental health services

—$133 million for domestic violence prevention programs that guard against same-sex intimate-partner violence

—$48 million for community arts programs and for queer and trans artists

—$4.7 mMillion to prevent abuse, neglect and exploitation of elders

The more people who respond to the Census, the more likely resources will flow to under-resourced communities.

It's about political power and influence

But, for me, the most important aspect of the Census is the political influence that the data drives. The census can be a check on the outsized political influence that some intolerant states command when apportioning congressional seats among the states based on population.

Census data is also used to redraw Congressional, State Legislative and City Council district boundaries to make them equal in population. Sure, some districts can be gerrymandered. But voting rights advocates can also use the data to draw districts that give communities of color, and those who have be traditionally underrepresented, a voice in the halls of power.

It's mandatory and insuring safety

The census is required by law. People can be fined $100 for not responding. Federal law also ensures that personal information is private and may not be shared with the immigration service, IRS, or law enforcement.

I am a lawyer. I reviewed the law and was delighted to find that the confidentiality protections have been upheld and strengthened by the courts. Yet, even in light of the strict penalties for those who violate the protections, I am still concerned.

NQAPIA is monitoring the census to keep our community safe. We have lawyers ready to sue if there are breaches and who are available to answer questions. You can report a problem to us at http://bit.ly/2ULyiLy.

The way I see it, getting LGBTQ people to participate in the census is ultimately about harm reduction. The data collected inherently underrepresents the multiplicity of our identities. It can feel reductive and often dehumanizing, but it is necessary because of the very real implications towards how the government will allocate resources and representation. The census holds a lasting impact. To be missed is to be gone for the next ten years.

Let's be counted.

Glenn D. Magpantay is a longtime civil-rights lawyer who led community education and advocacy efforts for Census 2000 and 2010. He is executive director of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance ( NQAPIA )—a federation of LGBT Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander organizations.


This article shared 2129 times since Wed May 13, 2020
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

NATIONAL More trans deaths, bullied teen, Manhunt, trans writer, Biden
2021-04-18
A Black transgender woman in Missouri was shot to death—and investigators swiftly tracked down a suspect they believe shot her after meeting on an online dating website, LGBTQ Nation reported. Dominique Lucious was found dead April ...


Gay News

WORLD Peru items, Kenya, UK government, Poland city
2021-04-18
The first lesbian elected to Peru's Congress promised to put up a "strong battle" for LGBTQ+ rights in the South American nation as two social conservatives go head to head for a presidential run-off vote in ...


Gay News

Simmons moves to gather data on how COVID-19 has harmed LGBTQ+ communities
2021-04-15
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD — To better determine how the COVID-19 pandemic has harmed LGBTQIA+ communities in Illinois, State Sen. Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) passed legislation out of an Illinois Senate committee Thursday that ...


Gay News

Illinois Latino Agenda issues statement on shooting of Adam Toledo
2021-04-15
--From a press release - On March 29, 2021, 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer. Since the shooting, there have been different narratives formed of who Adam Toledo was. Various media have made allegations saying ...


Gay News

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia theme announced
2021-04-15
--From a collective press release - LGBTQI+ networks from around the world have announced the theme for this year's International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia: "Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!" We are inspired by this very ...


Gay News

Groups respond to death of queer refugee after attack on Kenyan camp
2021-04-14
LGBTQ+ people living in a refugee camp in northwestern Kenya have had to deal with a series of homophobic attacks by other residents and locals—and, now, one individual has passed away after an arson-related attack in ...


Gay News

Bennett, Noriega named to Illinois Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes
2021-04-13
On April 13, Gov. JB Pritzker announced appointments in his administration—including noted LGBTQ Chicagoans Jim Bennett and Mona Noriega to the Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes. Bennett currently serves ...


Gay News

Illinois first state to extend Medicaid postpartum benefits to 12 months
2021-04-13
Gov. JB Pritzker announced that Illinois is the first state in the nation to extend full Medicaid benefits from 60 days to 12 months postpartum, following the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approval ...


Gay News

Pastor Donnie McClurkin's struggle with sexuality mirrors the Black church's
2021-04-13
The most significant factor that keeps the Black church on the down low are closeted, homophobic ministers. Pastor Donnie McClurkin—a three-time Gospel Grammy winner and the former poster boy for ...


Gay News

LGBT media to boycott Georgia
2021-04-12
--From a press release - The National LGBT Media Association (NGMA), composed of the 12 largest LGBT publications in the nation, passed a resolution banning meeting in the state of Georgia. The nation's largest LGBT media association today resolved to not ...


Gay News

WORLD Trans women arrested, death threats, Russian film, leader apologizes
2021-04-11
Two transgender women facing charges of "attempted homosexuality" (as well as public indecency and not carrying identification) in a high-profile case in Cameroon will spend more than two months behind bars without a trial after a ...


Gay News

NATIONAL College items, Easter rally, mental-health study, Chuck Schumer
2021-04-11
The NCAA LGBTQ OneTeam—a group of NCAA-trained facilitators at colleges across the country—published an open letter condemning the actions taken by 28 states across the country to introduce, pass and ...


Gay News

The Amazon Trail, How to Write a Book
2021-04-10
I'm not giving away any secrets here. Not saying it's simple or that anyone can do it if they send $25.00 to Post Office Box 1,2,3. Nope, it's a personal journey and every story has a story. Here's mine, about the ...


Gay News

Mayor Lightfoot announces Chicago Blueprint for Fair Housing
2021-04-09
--From a press release - MAYOR LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCES BLUEPRINT FOR FAIR HOUSING New Assessment Outlines Actions the City will take over the next five years to advance fair housing to reduce residential segregation CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced ...


Gay News

Attorneys general challenge Tennessee abortion law
2021-04-09
A group of 20 attorneys general filed an amicus brief in a case challenging a Tennessee law that requires women to have two in-person appointments at least 48 hours apart before having an abortion, The Hill ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.