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.