Friday, December 19, 2008

Larry Kramer: How Many of Us are There?

From a forward I received:

In reading rex wockner's international news column just now i was
particularly struck by the following item:

"Britain to count gay population"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Britain's Office for National Statistics is going to count the gay
population.

Starting in January, a sexual-orientation question will be included in several of the office's routine surveys, leading to an eventual estimate of the size of the nation's gay community.

Respondents will choose from heterosexual/straight, gay/lesbian, bisexual or "other" -- or can opt not to answer.

Officials say "the results will be useful for gauging levels of discrimination and unequal treatment and addressing those problems."

When are gays in america going to fight to find out how many of us there are. I am tired of not knowing. i am tired of hearing numbers quoted all over the map from practically zero to only a few million, all of them certainly far less than i believe we are.

i think it is, psychologically, now the time to try and do something about this. we need to know as we go forward into our never-ending fights with THEM how many of us there are. we just do.

i have long implored our "major" gay organizations, particularly HRC, to commence a project that would reap these figures. we are never going to get our government to do what england is now doing. therefore we have to do it ourselves. i am always arguing with that gary guy at ucla's william institute that is always putting out his numbers, based, so far as i can tell, by his viewing into his own crystal ball. i want better. i want something that will hold up in court, in the halls of government, etc.

joe solmonese, could you and hrc spearhead something like this? could urvashi or tim sweeney or the gill foundation or all the people with some money still left on this list, could people just get together and brainstorm this. could the williams institute?

correct me if i am wrong, but aren't we better, stronger being able to go forth knowing how many of us there are, no matter how many of us there are? otherwise we continue as the sort of only half-visible population. i know rodger at gill did a survey a few years ago of a couple of thousand gay people who, when asked if they identified as straight, bi, or gay, over fifty percent weaseled out and said bi. this is sickening and we must find a way to find firmer truths.

perhaps a new small organization can be funded just to gather our numbers?

don't you all want to know????
or do you want to continue to live in this darkness visible forever?

love etc
larry

5 comments:

Sebastian said...

Of course, if such a question were included in the census, the information would be public record. Given the climate of discrimination and fear, many gays would either refuse or would "pass" as straight, thereby resulting in a gross undercount, that may undercut our political clout.

In the US, we don't even ask about religious affiliation, for fear that it would be controversial.

mail said...

I do not know if i like this. It would probably result in government intrusion if done here. These statistics can be tabulated and designed for all sorts of research that i may not want to participate in or have done or even agree with.

mail said...

In a perfect world, i would appreciate representation but we all know that is not gonna happen and that feeling that way is not cynical but true. Plus i hate to break this to larry kramer but he does not necessarily have the right to know what other people who do not want to share that information are. He just doesn't and frankly it is too bad and tough luck for him if he wants to know. Not everyone wants to be as out as him and people have that right too. At least as long as they are not a foe.

Douglas said...

Critical thinker Foucault might argue that counted populations are managed populations. You may be ready for the stats, but are you ready to be controlled?

the zak said...

Would that be Kinsey 2-6ers?... Would that include the heterosexual type wannabes trying to be cool?... Would it include everybody who's had a sexual experience with somebody of the same sex?... What would be included in what is or isn't a sexual experience with somebody of the same sex?...