Tuesday, August 25, 2020

A One, A Two, A Three, A Four…

One of the hardest things to do is to count or research a marginalized community, lets face it there are some who don’t want to be counted, some who you can’t find, and there are some who are afraid to be counted.

We were written out of the best chance to have us counted.
Historically undercounted groups may be undercounted again in U.S. census
NM Political Report
By Susan Dunlap
August 25, 2020

With only a little more than a month left to fill out the 2020 U.S. census, some groups that have been historically forgotten could go under counted again.

Adrien Lawyer, co-founder of Albuquerque-based Transgender Resource Center, told NM Political Report said that even the best available data on the transgender communities across the country are largely undercounting the communities. The U.S. census doesn’t ask questions about gender orientation or identity.

Lawyer said the transgender community is again in danger of being undercounted with this census as it has been in previous census data gatherings.

The best available data on the size of the community in either the U.S. or New Mexico comes from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law Williams Institute, which is a research center on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy.
You all have seen the ads for the census on television about how important it is to be counted our congressional delegation is based on the count, will we here in Connecticut have five or four representative to Congress is determined by the count. The Obama administration added questions about sexual orientation and gender identity on the census form but the Trump administration removed the questions.
 According to a 2016 Williams Institute report, New Mexico has the third highest transgender community in the U.S., behind only Hawaii and California. According to the Williams Institute research, 0.75 percent of New Mexico’s population is transgender.

But Lawyer said he believes that is an undercount and that the true number is more likely 3 to 5 percent.
Unfortunately we will never know.

When we were working to pass the gender inclusive non-discrimination law and were talking to our legislators the question that we heard from them most was “How many trans people are in the state?” and all we could do was shrug our shoulders and say “We think…”

We are going to be surveyed again.

Yeah we know that you are thinking “another survey” but this one is different… it has been commissioned by the state legislature. As far as we know this is the first and only s LGBTQ+ community survey that was ordered by a state.

I am on a sub-committee that right now is working on the survey, it is a needs survey being organized by the Connecticut for the Department of Health and the Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity and should be out sometime in the fall.

And there is a third survey being done by the University of Connecticut this one on how the trans community is getting along in the COVID-19 epidemic which the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition (CTAC) is helping with right now. We have been talking about getting a social work intern to help out with writing and organizing the survey.

So bottom line… get counted.

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