This month you and I and all of our friends will receive census forms in the mail. Even though the forms, and the census itself, will pretend that large portions of the LGBT population don't exist, the 2010 census still represents a civil rights breakthrough.
Back in my activist days, I discovered the importance of the census when I bumped into the amazing work of the Williams Institute. By mining census data, the UCLA institute destroyed anti-LGBT stereotypes.
"The big impact the census data have had is to undermine many of the stereotypes in the political discourse that often work against LGBT people," says Gary Gates, the senior demographer at the Williams Institute. "Same-sex couples certainly look a lot like married (heterosexual) couples. They're raising kids, they don't all live in urban areas, they own homes, and they serve in the military."