Thursday, 28 February 2013

When census forms don't fit, it's time to double the tick

A friend and I were talking about what gender diversity would look like on a form recently, because she was having to design something to collect data for work.  The last couple of times I've been developing forms, I've created a "Gender" category and left it open for people to self-identify.

But I'm not collecting data about four million people, like Statistics New Zealand in the census, so the diverse responses I get (from female to intersex to ftm to sometimes to yes to genderqueer to mtf to male) can be managed.  I recognise Stats NZ probably need to find "categories."  I just don't recognise that those categories need to be limited to "Male" and "Female."

Which is why the campaign for two ticks is important.  Unless this issue is publicised - nope, those two labels don't meet all of our gender diverse needs - Stats NZ are unlikely to change their thinking.

I identify as and love being a cis woman.  But I'll be ticking both gender boxes this census, to show solidarity with people who are unrepresented by our current gender options.  As the Facebook campaign page makes clear, this is a broader issue:

If Statistics New Zealand expands its understanding of gender and officially recognises genders outside of the male/female binary, institutions all over Aotearoa will be able to do the same.
Currently institutions are prevented from recognising gender diversity because they have to provide information consistent with Statistics New Zealand's requirements.
Get your ticks on next Tuesday if you agree. 


Scorpio said...

I can think of two ways to organise this form, depending on whether they are making the distinction between people's assigned sex at birth or not.

Presuming they're not, a simple


Would probably do.

If they are, it would go

Cis Male
Cis Female
Trans Male
Trans Female

Of course there might need to be some public education around what "Cis" means because it's not a term used much outside social justice circles... sadly...

Anonymous said...

I don't think two ticks works online unfortunately so you'd better stick to paper copies :-) But I also have been creating forms that leave the gender space blank for people to self identify, and there have not yet been any disasters in my stats collation! Given that DIA has broadened the gender categories for passports, its a pity that Stats NZ haven't caught up.