How to Make Your Census Really Count

By Jamilah King Apr 01, 2010

We all know that the census doesn’t exactly take the most nuanced approach when it comes to labeling identities. But given its importance in everything from how many hospitals are built to what communities get which resources, you’ve just got to grit your teeth, bear with it, and deal. Or do you? Today’s the deadline to turn in your census form, but before you dig through your snail mail and try to send it in at the last minute, take a look at some communities that are tweaking it to work for them. There’s no explicit category for Persian-Americans, for instance. And there’s no question in the survey that asks about sexual identity. "Check it right; you ain’t white!" is a campaign that urges Arab and Persian Americans to check the "other" box on their census forms and write in their true identity. Queer the Census is an effort spearheaded by the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce that’s asking folks to sign a petition to include a category for sexual identity on the next census.