On June 25th Congressman Raul Grijalva of Tucson reintroduced the LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act. The act originally came up in 2019 but was put on hold due to growing pandemic concerns. Now Congress is taking a second look at this critical bill.
What Is It?
The LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act will require federal surveys to include data collection on the queer community. These questions are completely voluntary but when answered will provide much-needed data about our community. Rep. Grijalva had this to say,
“Our LGBTQ community deserves to be visible and counted so public policy can better reflect their needs. By including voluntary and confidential questions on sexual orientation and gender identity in federal surveys, we can ensure that lawmakers have the data they need to craft policies that remedy the disparities faced by LGBTQ individuals in housing, health, employment, and more.”
We all know that our community has faced discrimination in pretty much every facet of life since the beginnings of civilization. This has been compounded in our government by previously ignoring our existence, when not outright trying to stamp us out. But you know what?
Why the LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act is Important
Representation Matters! We say it all the time. Some of us march for it, get in fights for it. Why? Because we deserve to be counted just like everybody else. Within our ranks, we cradle every race, gender, orientation, and political affiliation whether (or not) they want to admit it. We are a lot of people and the needs of our community need to be met but the first step is representation. That starts with getting the right questions out there so that we, the community, can answer them.
Only you will ultimately decide if you want to answer the voluntary and anonymous surveys. You don’t have to and we’re not here to twist your arm or pressure you. The importance lays with giving you the option. Giving everyone the option. I have a sneaking suspicion that our “minority” community isn’t as minor as the government thinks. If we want representation in our media it’s even more important to have it at the federal level.
For the basics of the LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act, you can check out the official government page. To understand what it means please enjoy this image provided by PFAG.