Queer students want questions about gender, sexuality in Census

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Queer students want questions about gender, sexuality in Census

Young people want the government to introduce questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in the 2026 Census.

While the 2021 Census included new questions about defence service and long-term health conditions, it did not include questions about gender identity or sexual orientation.

The ABS did consult on and consider including questions about gender and sexuality in the census, but was directed by the former federal government not to include them, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics chief statistician David Gruen.

Dr Gruen said that gender identity and sexuality questions would be considered for the 2026 Census.

The census did not collect information on gender identity, so it can't give you an estimate of the trans population, he said.

Blake Cutler, a researcher at Monash Youth Policy Centre, analysed more than 500 responses to the 2021 Youth Barometer and found queer young people wanted their experiences included in the data.

He said that a formal data-gathering exercise like the census was one of the avenues that queer young people advocated for was to be included in a formal data-gathering exercise.

Mr Cutler said the data collection reflected the values and priorities of governments.

What we collect data shows what we're willing to invest time and effort into, he said.

The ABS is expected to publish data later this year on how many people responded to a question about sex.

Queer health advocates have called for Australia to follow the likes of New Zealand, Britain, and Canada in including questions about gender and sexuality.

Raymond Woods works as a cleaner in the regional Victorian town of Traralgon where he continues to face obstacles to get involved in his community.

He said that every time I find a new house, a new workplace, I have to come out.

He said better data around how many trans and gender-diverse people were in the town would help inform systemic change.

It's those little systems where you have to roll the dice — should I use my correct name and pronouns or my legal name and come out later on? He said something.

He said he had been cut off from his biological family when he started to find a new community.

Mr Woods gave advice to cisgender and heterosexual people when a queer person lets them in. Let them speak and tell their truth. He said he said he ''thank you for letting me into your life.

I'm still on lots of waiting lists to get on hormones and surgery, and I still get dead-named and dead-gendered.

We have come a long way, but we are not going anywhere. Mr Cutler's analysis of the Youth Barometer of 2021 also made significant findings into the experiences of young people in school and workplaces.

69 per cent of queer people reported significant stress about interacting with other students and colleagues in the study. He said that this was 33 per cent more than cisgender and heterosexual young people.

The PhD candidate said that the research presented a way forward without perpetuating apparent deficits in young queer people.

He said that we could address some of these challenges by focusing on broader interactions and how some of the issues are with interacting cisgender and heterosexual students.