My peer-reviewed article ‘Constructing a queer population? Asking about sexual
orientation in Scotland’s 2022 census’ is to be published in the Journal of Gender Studies.
The article is the first to discuss the design process for a question on sexual orientation in a national census. Using correspondence between National Records of Scotland, the Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee and campaign groups, I explore decisions made, the uneasy relationship between queer identities and state data collection practices, and ask the question who is counted when we count LGBTQ people.
I conclude that the census design process constructed a queer population that ‘made sense’ to the heteronormative majority and ‘designed-out’ queer lives that the state did not wish to bring into being.
Although focused on the design process in Scotland, the article presents insights ahead of censuses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in March 2021 that (for the first time) will ask a question about sexual orientation.
Huge thanks to everyone who provided input to draft versions of the article and journal reviewers for their constructive feedback.
You can download the article via the Journal of Gender Studies website.