Using Gender, Sex and Sexuality Data for Action
Queer Data explores the collection, analysis and use of gender, sex and sexuality data, as it relates to the lives and experiences of LGBTQ people in the UK. It examines how new technologies and approaches, from big data to blockchains, overlap with longer-term disagreements over how to recognise difference among identity groups, the representation of differences through data and its use as an evidence base for action.
Queer Data offers more than a study of experiences that sit outside normative categories of ‘heterosexual’ or ‘cisgender’, it instead starts from a position that questions the foundations upon which these categories are based and the primacy of particular identities above others. Queer Data explores the the tensions between data about LGBTQ people and the ‘queering’ of methods used to collect, analyse and present this data.
This is particularly timely as the UK’s next censuses will – for the first time – capture data about the population’s sexual orientation and trans/gender identity. The addition of these questions marks a landmark moment for LGBTQ representation and the potential for improved evidence to address inequality. Yet, participation in the census, and other data collection exercises, is a double-edged sword as they require LGBTQ people to engage in a process that flattens the diversity of LGBTQ experiences and designs-out certain lives.
Queer Data charts a practical path through this tension that acknowledges data’s potential to recreate stereotypical and exclusionary rules but also operate as a tool to gather evidence, document inequality and bring about change.
Published by Bloomsbury Academic as part of the Bloomsbury Studies in Digital Cultures series.