OUT IN THE WILD

GA Voice - - Front Page - By Si­mon Wil­liamson

as part of the Amer­i­can land­scape.

Not un­til the Obama pres­i­dency were we taken se­ri­ously by any pres­i­dent. Not un­til Loretta Lynch did we have an at­tor­ney gen­eral who said to trans­gen­der peo­ple, “We see you.” But ar­rive we did, and although it took un­til 2013, we were rec­og­nized mostly as hu­man be­ings on equal foot­ing with, you know, REAL Amer­i­cans, like gun own­ers and vi­o­lent po­lice.

As such, it would be great if the cen­sus would ac­knowl­edge us and mea­sure whether we are en­joy­ing an eq­ui­table dis­tri­bu­tion of what so­ci­ety has to of­fer. As Meghan Maury, Crim­i­nal and Eco­nomic Jus­tice Project Di­rec­tor at the Na­tional LGBTQ Task Force, asked when this story broke, “If the govern­ment doesn’t know how many LGBTQ peo­ple live in a com­mu­nity, how can it do its job to en­sure we’re get­ting fair and ad­e­quate ac­cess to the rights, pro­tec­tions and ser­vices we need?”

Dare we ask for equal­ity? Not at this time. Since the cen­sus bu­reau is sup­posed to re­lease the cat­e­gories it in­tends to ask about three years ahead of time, that means the Ge­orge W. Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion got to do it last time, Pres­i­dent “De­fense of Mar­riage Act” be­fore him and the Rea­gan ad­min­is­tra­tion be­fore that. In all like­li­hood, we may have to wait un­til a Demo­cratic ad­min­is­tra­tion is in power three years be­fore a cen­sus to see if we are al­lowed to be recorded.

Make no mis­take: the de­bates about bath­rooms and mar­riages and RFRA are to keep us out of the so­ci­ety in which we are not wanted. So­ci­ety at large may be grow­ing in its re­spect for us, but we live un­der a govern­ment that sup­ports our demise. The vice pres­i­dent has made it his life’s work to van­quish us. And be­cause he can’t rid his life of us, he aims to make it more dif­fi­cult for us to live day-to-day.

To be left out of the cen­sus is a vic­tory for the peo­ple who don’t want to reg­is­ter us as full mem­bers of so­ci­ety. In this in­stance, Pence won and we lost. The fed­eral govern­ment gives no shit about you what­so­ever.

It is as easy to get dis­tracted now as it was in March, but we shouldn’t for­get that be­hind the loud noises, this ad­min­is­tra­tion is packed with peo­ple who de­test us and have made it their mis­sion to erase us from pub­lic life.

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