In case you haven’t yet heard, the 2020 census has undergone quite a bit of debate recently. The census is more important than a lot of people realize– adopted within the Constitution and headed by the Department of Commerce, once every ten years a count of the population is required in order to reevaluate certain functions of our government. The results distribute representatives to the states and determines where almost half a trillion federal tax dollars should be spent. That bit hasn’t changed in over 200 years now. However, the people within it have.
As our society progresses the needs of the people that compose it do also, and the government that provides for it should as well. This is the premise behind the argument many democrats have been making for years now throughout the Obama era, and now into Trump’s presidency. After all, changes have been made to accommodate a changing nation in the past (questions concerning race, education, and housing have been previously added) so it’s only fair to add questions about sexual orientation and gender identity as the United States begins to witness an increasing amount of diversity in these communities.
But, why is it so important that sexuality and gender are represented when polling for the census? In years past, the LGBT+ community might have seen such questions as invasive, but with an increasingly open-minded (or rather, open-closeted, as homophobia, transphobia, and bigots remain persistent as the LGBT+ community grows) country, it is essential that those still technically a minority are accurately represented in the polls. After all, the upcoming census will have a great impact on where an obscene amount of money goes over the following ten years. Getting an accurate polling on the number of Americans who self-identify as transgender, gay, or otherwise queer would provide a basis for programs that benefit these people and likely allow the already often underrepresented community to receive more funding. Likewise, programs that are already in place for these people could easily be cut with no statistics to prove their necessity.
Anticipation has built over the past week to the due date of the proposed census, as many Americans waited to see how they would be represented. However, head of the Census Bureau John Thompson released a statement, claiming that “Our review concluded there was no federal data need to change the planned census.”
However, there seems to be no hard evidence that providing these questions on the census would do much harm, other than take up five extra seconds for those filling it out. Opposition claims that “This week’s LGBT anti-Trump outrage… turns out to fundamentally be less about gay and transgender rights and more about organizations who want a slice of the great federal spending pie,” as so eloquently noted by Reason writer Scott Shackford (for the full article, click here). And to that, I say– yes, you’re right Scott. Absolutely. The LGBT+ community absolutely wants (and deserves) more programs for their benefit. Programs that will defend and protect them, as they– we– are still a minority and one of the most discriminated against groups in America. Yes, we “want a slice of the great federal spending pie,”– to get programs to stand up for our rights, since people like you don’t seem to be too awfully concerned with them in the first place.
(On a side note, maybe straight people are just scared to see that the LGBT+ community actually has the troops to enforce the gay agenda, which very obviously looks something like this.)
Oh, well. For now, folks, looks like America’s hung up on its heteronormative, cis-centric self as usual. Hang in there; it looks like it’s gonna be awhile before we get our representation.