This week we have something quite different. We are launching a new monthly pod called “What The Trans: Nights.” The deal is patreon backers get this show six months before everyone else but here is the first episode so you can see if you are interested!
To get these episodes super early, become a backer on our patreon! ($7 per month, works out to about a fiver in coppers and farthings)
Michelle also briefly covers the importance of the UK Census! For the first time in its history it includes an optional question on gender identity. It is VERY important. This is the first chance we have ever had to find out just how many of us there are. Current estimates from the Office of National Statistics puts us somewhere between 200,000-500,000 strong in the UK. These numbers are almost certainly low as they do not include non-binary people!
Here is some guidance on how to do this census thing. We will be getting into what it does right and what it does wrong next week. For now this is some advice on how to fill in the census without comment!
- You can start filling in the Census online right now (if you have your access code)
Census day itself is the 21st of this month. However, you can start filling yours in RIGHT NOW. Your household should have received a letter with your households access code on it. If you have not received this you can request another one via text or through the post.
The code is for your entire household, which means anyone who is in your home on the 21st of March. This includes people who may be stopping over (although…that is breaking all the lockdown rules…). The census is based on people in your home on that date, not who is named on the rental agreement, mortgage, council tax etc.
- Help with filling in the census
The Census website has a variety of guides to help you through every step of the process.
The Office of National Statistics (the people who are in charge of doing this whole thing) also has lots of guides. Here is their guidance on the gender identity question.
It is optional. But if you are able to safely declare your trans status, please do so. Like we have said a few times now, this is huge and we will have the best picture of what our community looks like if as many trans people fill in this question as possible.
It is a simple question: Is your gender the same as the sex you were registered at birth?
You will have two options: Yes and No
You will have the opportunity to write in how you describe your gender. Whilst anyone who isn’t a man or a woman is left out of legal recognition, you will be counted here as the gender identity you actually are.
Here is the ONS guidance (which includes a history of how this question was developed!): https://www.ons.gov.uk/census/censustransformationprogramme/questiondevelopment/genderidentity/guidanceforquestionsonsexgenderidentityandsexualorientationforthe2019censusrehearsalforthe2021census
3. The sex question.
This is subject to change and will be part of our next podcast, but for now the official guidance from the ONS on how to answer this states:
“If you are considering how to answer, use the sex recorded on one of your legal documents such as a birth certificate, Gender Recognition Certificate, or passport.”
The official line is that you should go with the the sex identified on either your birth certificate/GRC OR your passport. If they are different (your passport says you are a man but your birth certificate says you are a woman for example) you can choose the one you prefer.
However, all the data provided is anonymised. No area of government can identify you and all identifying information will be sealed for 100 years.
We will be analysing this situation in depth on the podcast next week.