Pandemic-related news have occupied almost all headlines. While this trend is not surprising at all as our nation comes through unprecedented times, there are nationwide events that deserve public attention. Census 2020 is undoubtedly among those of paramount importance as it updates our knowledge about who we are as well as provide insights of future directions for the government. That is especially true for LGBTQ community in terms of increasing visibility. The National LGBTQ Task Force leads an effort to increase LGBTQ community awareness about census and encourage its participation.
“The Census helps LGBTQ communities access billions in federal funding for social programs, helps us build political power, and helps us enforce civil rights protections,”
explains Meghan Maury from the National LGBTQ Task Force. Thus total participation of LGBTQ is critical. While increasing visibility the census is also expected to bring attention to the community problems and may potentially improve the quality of life.
“Filling out the Census is a critical component in building our collective power to fight for our rights — including the right to be fully represented in the Census count,” Maury adds.
For the first time in American the census provides a choice for queer people to better define their relationships. The list that previously included “husband and wife” or “unmarried partner,” options only has now been updated to include “same-sex husband/ wife/ spouse,” “same-sex unmarried partner,” “opposite-sex husband/ wife/ spouse,” and “opposite-sex unmarried partner.” Finally, the existence of LGBTQ will be officially recognized. For the first time in American history. However, the room for improvement is still open. That is, current choices do not account for single queer people as well as those who live with opposite-sex partner but self-identify as queer.