Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Did you send in your Census 2010?

Don't worry, I'm not going to get hyper-political right now (though I do think that politics is important, but that might be a whole separate blog post for later).

I was so psyched (there's really no other word for how I felt) when the boyfriend and I filled out the Census 2010 paperwork.  And this is why:
This is the first time I remember filling out the Census on my own, and this is definitely the first time I'm filling it out as an adult.  But I have never been so excited to see a check box.

What strikes me as somewhat funny about the situation is the fact that, being an educated Filipina, I can't help but think of the irony in my excitement.  Since I consider myself open-minded and quite liberal, and I have friends of different ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations, I feel like I've had many conversations about identity and that damn check box.

I understand the idea that the check box is a way for others to literally "box" people into an identity.  Who determines the categories?  In a world that has so much diversity, is it fair to lump people in generalized categories?  And before this Census, why were we confined to check a limited number of boxes, merely 1 or 2?

But, I have never been so proud to check a box.  I do believe that we, the Filipino community, are lucky to have activists fight for our right to a box.  Also, considering that Filipino's make up the second largest "Asian/Pacific Islander" population, it's pretty neat that we have been acknowledged.

We've definitely come a long way from this:
"Positively No Filipinos Allowed"
But there's still quite a lot more room to grow.

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