Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-07-08
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



LETTER: The U.S. Census important to LGBTQ community political, economic power

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

We've all seen the messaging about the Census and many of us might just wonder whether completing it truly makes a difference.

As a director on the board for a social services agency that serves undercounted communities, it is my responsibility to understand why completing the census is so very important. We must be counted for us to benefit from the allocation of political and economic power. I hope that this short read inspires a shared responsibility we have to one another—a community that must continue to be heard during such a pivotal time in our fight for social justice and equality.

The year was 1995. I can still remember the myriad of emotions as I had planned my visit to the Halsted Street Cafe, with a bright pink leaflet in hand with an artsy logo that read "Generation Q" on the front cover. I felt anxious yet excited about meeting other queer reflections of who I was becoming as a young man. Although I was only a teenager at the time, I felt a tremendous sense of responsibility to be honest with myself and with those who surrounded me about my identity. I somehow knew it would be the only way I would achieve the various dreams I had concocted for myself in my youth. Fear of rejection, discrimination because of my ethnicity, my stocky size or perceived lack of intelligence or worth crossed my mind as I walked through those doors of the cafe; nonetheless, it would be the best decision I had made for myself at such an impressionable time. Generation Q would launch my life into a trajectory of self-acceptance that has long been a key ingredient to my success.

Today—as an entrepreneur, scholar and activist—I think about how Generation Q, a social services program for inner city LGBTQ youth, may not have existed if our community hadn't been counted in the U.S. Census. Now, consider those programs and agencies that you are passionate about. While we won't see direct questions regarding gender identity or sexual orientation on the census form, fair access to social services depends on funding entities being aware that we exist.

I also believe that the elected leaders who ensure our community has fair representation are given a voice because of the census, since results ultimately determine how many seats we have in government. Regardless of how we feel about it, we are considered a priority as a "hard-to-count population" by the U.S. Census Bureau and, ultimately, the presence of the LGBTQ community matters. The bottom line is if we don't participate in the census, we're excluded from the social progress which benefits our community.

Want to get involved? LGBTQ community members can participate in LGBTQ+ week of action beginning June 29. The State of Illinois, Cook County and the City of Chicago will wrap up Illinois Census Month with a Pride Census social media "thunderclap" on Monday, June 29, at 10:30-11:30 a.m. This thunderclap will focus on the importance of counting our LGBTQ+ communities.

I encourage everyone to engage your networks, colleagues, friends and family to share information about the census on your social media sites. Share stories about your experiences taking the census and posting your stories via social media (Facebook, Twitter, IG), using the hashtags #QTC #BeYouBeCounted, #QueerTheCensus #Queer and #WillBeCounted.

In addition, there's a Census 2020 playlist on Spotify that you can check out, share and enjoy! Check out the playlist at .

Milton Rodriguez

Incoming Board Chair

El Rincon Family Services

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

NATIONAL Marriage video, non-binary person killed, memo, Buttigieg, Fauci 2020-07-13 - U.S. District Judge William Orrick, a federal judge in San Francisco, ordered videos of a landmark 2010 trial that led to the striking ...

Gay News

WORLD Conversion therapy, Thai measure, gay bars vandalized, Global Pride 2020-07-13 - The United Nations' Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity called for a global ban ...

Gay News

Lightfoot, PSPC launch 'Let's Link Chi' to help violence-impacted areas 2020-07-13 - The Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities ( PSPC ), in collaboration with Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, announced the launch of Let's Link ...

Gay News

Activists fight against anti-LGBTQ+ zones and bias in Poland 2020-07-10 - There is a crisis happening in the LGBTQ+ community in Poland, as in many countries around the world. Poland's historically patriarchal and Christian ...

Gay News

Stand up and be counted 2020-07-10 - As the LGBTQ+ navigator of Chinese Mutual Aid Association, I want to encourage everyone, both LGBTQ+ individuals and cisgender/straight allies, to get counted ...

Gay News

Lambda Legal asks court to block Trump's HHS anti-LGBTQ health care rule 2020-07-09 - ( Washington, D.C., July 9, 2020 ) — Today, Lambda Legal asked a federal district court to prevent the recently published health care ...

Gay News

SCOTUS provides exemption for religious schools from bias lawsuits 2020-07-08 - On July 8, the U.S. Supreme Court ( SCOTUS ) ruled seven to two in favor of two California religious schools that argued ...

Gay News

United Nations call for a global ban on conversion therapy, Born Perfect comments 2020-07-08 - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — Today, the United Nations' Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity called ...

Gay News

Supreme Court on religious employers, contraceptive coverage under ACA, NCLR responds 2020-07-08 - WASHINGTON, DC — The Supreme Court issued two important decisions today that significantly change the relationship between freedom of religion and anti-discrimination protections. ...

Gay News

Australian, Irish consulates host LGBTQ+ advocacy panel 2020-07-08 - Sarah Keating, the vice consul general of Chicago's Consulate General of Ireland; and Amanda Slone, the office services manager at the Australian Consulate ...


Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.