Friday, April 02, 2010
U. S. Census 2010
The form was very easy to complete. It took me less than five minutes to complete it.
The only information I had to record was my name, address, home ownership, sex, date of birth and race. I also record the same information for the other person living in my house.
I was very pleased to discover there was a box entitled “Unmarried partner” indicating the relationship between me and the other person living in my house. That “other person” is my partner of 46 years.
Marriage between same sex partners may not be in place but at least the government is now recognizing the reality of all the living arrangements of the people of this country. No longer will do I have to indicate I am “Single” when filling out such a form when in fact I have been happily “married” for the past forty six years! To be honest, I never thought I would live to see this day when Bill and I would be recognized as two legitimate people living in the same household. It is a wonderful feeling not to be discounted as a human being and an American citizen.
Bill and I are both veterans (me the Army and Bill the Army and Air Force.) Both of us have been productive members of the American society earning a living and contribution to the great American economy for lo these many years. During those years we have paid our full share of the many taxes of this land. Even though for most of those years we were discounted as American citizens and did not have the full rights most other Americans take for granted, we paid our full share of taxes. Someday I’ll add up the thousands of dollars we spent on school taxes even though we had no children in school. I don’t regret paying those taxes because well educated children benefit all of us in the country, gay and straight. However, I do remember the times when our straight neighbors in Pennsylvania used to harass us for even daring to live next to them because we were gay. But that’s a story for another day. Today is too nice of a day to go down that negative lane. The sun is out, the temperature is forecast for the low 70’s, and today is the 42nd Annual Kite Festival at the Cape Henlopen State Park. That’s where I’m going today, not back to the Bad Old Days when we lived in Pennsylvania with our homophobic neighbors.
This time last year I trained to be a Census worker. Let me tell you, this is a tough and thankless job. I don’t care how much they’re paying, it is a hard job. After a week of training I quit. Even after I quit I received a call from the Census Bureau asking me if I wanted to work this year. That call surprised me. Either I really did super on my test and training (which I did by the way) or else they were hard up for workers (which they are by the way.) I turned them down. I’m not one for going into strange neighborhoods and knocking on stranger’s doors inquiring as to why they haven’t sent back their census form. I have all the respect in the world for those Census Bureau workers who do that tough job. It is a job that needs to be done.
So folks, mail in your Census form today or as soon as you can. If you don’t send in your completed form you will receive a visit from a Census Bureau worker inquiring about the census form they haven't received. One thing is for sure though, that worker won’t be me. But please make their job a little easier for those Census workers who decided to stick it out. It's a tough job.