Some time ago we did a piece of work to help Census consider the perspectives of people who identify as LGBTIQ+ in relation to the topics of sex and gender, and the potential expression of these topics in the coming census.
Of all of the work I’ve been involved with over the years, this one strikes me as potentially the most impactful.
First, if Census can respectfully encourage the community to provide accurate sex and gender information, this will help lead to continual service improvement, informing the design of a great number of policies and services.
Second, there are thousands of Australian surveys and forms that ask people if they are male or female. Some also contain an “other” category. Unfortunately, these options alienate many people. With Census (and now the rest of the Australian Bureau of Statistics surveys) changing their approach, many others responsible for the design of surveys and forms are also likely to include respectful gender diverse options.
This is not a simple change, nor is it without possible potential unintended consequences. However, based on what we heard during our research sessions, it is a step in the right direction.