or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Queer Parenting › Anyone else paranoid about the 2010 C.?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Anyone else paranoid about the 2010 C.?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
I'm all for surveys and I understand the purpose of the 2010 Cen...but when I realized how much personal info it called for I started getting really paranoid. It's one thing to ask for your ages and how many people live in your house, but to go into putting your names and birthdays and status with your partner seems a little too much to me.

I have been reading a lot of Holocaust books lately and maybe that's making me too paranoid, but really...for the gvt to have so much info about our family status as a gay/queer couple ALONG with our names seems like asking for trouble. I don't like it.

Anyone else or am I super paranoid?
post #2 of 34
I know what you mean... DP and I are also considering not completing the survey. We live in a very conservative area , not that we are not "out" but putting it out there with the government makes me nervous.
post #3 of 34
Having had first-hand experience with crunching census data...well, let's just say that we know everything about you, but it is anonymous.

The general public has access to census data in various ways, but it's not easy to figure out who someone is, you could guess at it, and maybe eventually figure it out if you were determined.

There are many, many, many easier ways to spy on someone.
post #4 of 34
Oh, and...one thing about the census (last time I crunched it) is that it doesn't actually ask for partner data. Two roommates living together looks the same as two non-married people co-habiting.

One of the big problems with the census data is that we can't figure out how many queer people it represents, we can kind of guess at it by using some parameters that are clearly biased toward middle class folk. i.e. we can guess that all groups of two females living together with children are lesbians, but some of them are going to be sisters living together and stuff like that. We do not have a good way to count queer folk from the census or other large-scale surveys.

If we did have quantitative data on queers and queer families, it would go a long way toward refuting the arguments of the Christian Right-wing in this country.

For example, do you know what state has the biggest proportion of queers living in families with children? Missouri. We always think of queers living in New York or Massachusetts or California, etc, and there are higher percentages of queers in those areas, but they're less likely to have kids and more likely to live in cities.

The government isn't coming for us. Not anytime soon, but the Xstian right is, and hiding from them doesn't do us any good.
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by FtMPapa View Post
Oh, and...one thing about the census (last time I crunched it) is that it doesn't actually ask for partner data. Two roommates living together looks the same as two non-married people co-habiting.

One of the big problems with the census data is that we can't figure out how many queer people it represents, we can kind of guess at it by using some parameters that are clearly biased toward middle class folk. i.e. we can guess that all groups of two females living together with children are lesbians, but some of them are going to be sisters living together and stuff like that. We do not have a good way to count queer folk from the census or other large-scale surveys.

If we did have quantitative data on queers and queer families, it would go a long way toward refuting the arguments of the Christian Right-wing in this country.

For example, do you know what state has the biggest proportion of queers living in families with children? Missouri. We always think of queers living in New York or Massachusetts or California, etc, and there are higher percentages of queers in those areas, but they're less likely to have kids and more likely to live in cities.

The government isn't coming for us. Not anytime soon, but the Xstian right is, and hiding from them doesn't do us any good.
They actually are asking for partner data on this census. For the people beyond person 1 that need to be included on the form as living in the household, the form asks "how is this person related to person 1?"

Options include: husband or wife, biological son or daughter, adopted son or daughter, stepson or stepdaughter, brother or sister, father or mother, grandchild, parent-in-law, son-in-law or daughter-in-law, other relative, roomer or border, housemate or roommate, unmarried partner, other nonrelative.

Even though we have a civil union and I usually just classify us as "married," since this is a federal government form, we chose "unmarried partner."

Regardless, I agree w/ everything else you said. We proudly completed ours and have already mailed it back. I'm hoping this data can work FOR us, not against us.
post #6 of 34
the actual details about identities that are listed on the form are kept confidential to all until about 80 years. nobody can access that data except anonymous statistics. i'm not concerned about it at all. i think it is important that the governement and those doing research using htat data has as accurate a representation of the queer community as we can give them. if we don't fill it out, we don't get counted. i am happy to see that unmarried partner is listed as an option.

my question for this is that we are (or at least will be married after this weekend) in massachusetts but that doens't count for federal issues so what should we say is our status??
post #7 of 34
I've only had experience with the Canadian census, but I had an issue with that last time. I didn't mind providing the information, which they said they needed for statistical purposes to better serve the specific population in my area, but I certainly did mind putting my name on it. The last one they asked me to fill out, I got the "long form," which asks (I think) pretty invasive personal questions. The one that got me in particular was about ethnicity. They specified they did NOT want you to answer just "Canadian," they wanted to know which country your grandparents and/or great-grandparents came from. In my case, that's very complicated, and puts me smack dab in the middle of an ethnicity that traditionally has not been treated well by either the Canadian or the American governments. In fact, my grandparents and great-grandparents LIED on the census (American census) about their racial heritage, and for good reason. Basically, I'm not sure I trust the government with my information...they can have for the reason they state, but in that case, there is no reason to give them my name.

And what happened with the last census? I refused to fill it out, and after repeatedly phoning me, someone knocked on my door and threatened me with fines and possible jail time if I did not fill it out. She literally stood in my hallway and waited for me to do it. She also told me I could put whatever name I wanted on it, Mickey Mouse if I preferred, but that she just needed something to bring back to her boss and show him she did her job. Interesting.
post #8 of 34
Got mine yesterday and we will not be filling it out. I was shocked to see that they want dob and ss# for everyone in the house. Wayyyyy too much info, not doing it.
post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshinejanie View Post
Got mine yesterday and we will not be filling it out. I was shocked to see that they want dob and ss# for everyone in the house. Wayyyyy too much info, not doing it.
Yeah...I forgot about the SSN bit, too! That's just too much.
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshinejanie View Post
Got mine yesterday and we will not be filling it out. I was shocked to see that they want dob and ss# for everyone in the house. Wayyyyy too much info, not doing it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raene
Yeah...I forgot about the SSN bit, too! That's just too much.
Ummm... the US census form should NEVER ask for SSN. This is what the form looks like.

I've read that there have been some scams, though. Are you sure you have the official form?

This is extremely important (aggregate) information, and I use it all the time when submitting grants for education programs for under-served youth (just as an example).

ETA - also, FYI "Under federal law, all employees and officials of the Census Bureau are prohibited from sharing a person's personal information with anyone else, including welfare agencies, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Internal Revenue Service, courts, police and the military. Violation of this law carries penalties of $5,000 in fines and up to five years in prison."

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/census...rsrequired.htm

If you're concerned about filling out the census form, please at least take the time to read through the 2010 constituent FAQs.
post #11 of 34
I'm also a believer in the power of information and numbers and that we need to be visible in order to get treated better as a queer community.

You might want to have a look at this website -- it's all about the census and our community.
post #12 of 34
I'm with megincl - We need to represent, people! Even if you make up names, DOBs, and leave the SSN blank, you should still let the government know you are a queer household. We got the short form and were proud to tell the world we are two female unmarried partners living in the bible belt! Hiding the fact that we're queer from the government or anyone else is not going to help our cause. We need to let everyone know we're EVERYWHERE, not just San Fran, NYC, or Mass.
post #13 of 34
They asked for SSN?

I just filled mine out yesterday. They only sent one form to the house, so I had to fill out the same form as my parents; we couldn't fill these out as two separate households. So I was listed as "son or daughter" of person #1 and my kids were listed as grandchildren. There was a spot for our names, ages as of April 1st 2010, birthdates, ethnicity, and whether or not we lived someplace else part of the time. There was no spot for SSN, at least not for people #3-6 in the household.

My understanding is that they ask for names just to verify that nobody is being counted twice.

Feel free to put down your partner as "roommate" rather than "nonmarried partner" if it makes you more comfortable, but I don't see how that information can possibly get from the census form to the local community. I also think it's great that the form has space in it for more than one "non-married partner" for Poly families.
post #14 of 34
i, too, am paranoid not about the gay thing but just about Big Borther in general. you are required to answer how many people. i filled in 2 people and sent it in. that's all they get from me!
post #15 of 34
I am looking at my census form and nowhere does it ask for my SS#.
post #16 of 34
For those of us that are into being counted loud and proud you can check out Queer the Census:

http://www.queerthecensus.org/site/c...the_Census.htm

They'll send you a free sticker you can use to seal your census asking the government to count LGBT people.
post #17 of 34
i got my sticker! thanks for posting that!!
post #18 of 34
DH is literally mailing ours right now. If it's asking for SSN, that's NOT the census, it's a scam, so please do NOT fill it out! This asks name, DOB, race, and relationship to the first person.

If you don't feel comfortable putting "nonmarried partner," you can pick something that shows you as not partners, or you could change names, or even just fill out number of people and number of children with "prefer not to list" for names, and everything else, but I wouldn't try not filling the actual official census out. They'll have to call and come by then, and in the end it hurts your area politically and financially, they think there are less children/families/people in that area and it determines funding for libraries/schools/roads, etc.
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjnoho View Post
my question for this is that we are (or at least will be married after this weekend) in massachusetts but that doens't count for federal issues so what should we say is our status??
Friends who are legally married in Canada and Mass. chose married. They wanted to make that statement clearly for the census number-crunchers. The most they could do really is call you and ask if it's an error.
post #20 of 34
delurking to jump in on a geeky government-related topic

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjnoho View Post
my question for this is that we are (or at least will be married after this weekend) in massachusetts but that doens't count for federal issues so what should we say is our status??
In Portland, our mayor's office sponsored a PSA aimed at LGBT couples, urging them to identify their relationship status however they'd like (we have domestic partnerships with all of the rights and responsibilities of marriage in Oregon, but they're still called DPs).

And I found this in a news piece about gay couples and the census when I was deciding how to mark us:

Quote:
U.S. Census Bureau officials said Friday that married same-sex couples will be counted as such in the 2010 national tally, reversing an earlier decision made under the Bush administration.

Steve Jost, a spokesman for the Census Bureau, said officials already were identifying the technical changes needed to ensure the reliability of the information, but remained committed to providing an accurate tally of gay spouses.

"They will be counted, and they ought to report the way they see themselves," Jost said. "In the normal process of reports coming out after the census of 2010, I think the country will have a good data set on which to discuss this phenomenon that is evolving in this country."
I just filled out ours, and marked us as married. We did get married in Canada. It doesn't matter what our federal government does or does not officially recognize.

And I second all that has been said about privacy. Your personal info will be anonymized, but filling it out is important for your state and local officials to have an accurate tally--not only so they know who they represent, but so they can get their fair share of federal funding!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Queer Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Queer Parenting › Anyone else paranoid about the 2010 C.?