Health and human service agencies in San Francisco could soon start asking citizens if they are gay, lesbian or transgender.
Assemblyman David Chu, who authored a bill to require state agencies to begin collecting LGBT data, said supporters of the measure believe the data could save lives.
Supervisor Scott Wiener said he has the votes on board to start collecting data on sexual identification in San Francisco by the end of the month.
In the past, asking someone about their sexual identification was considered a private matter and not for public discussion.
"And that's part of the problem. It's why our community has struggled with invisibility, and we are pushing back against that," Wiener said.
Wiener said city departments and the city's nonprofit partners that provide health and human services should be asking users how they identify sexually.
"If you don't know the numbers, if you don't have the data on that community, that community becomes invisible so this is very, very important," Wiener said.
Rebecca Rolfe, director of San Francisco's LGBT Community Center, agrees.
"We know that LGBT people face disproportionate levels of poverty and unemployment and challenges around health care and mental, but few frequently lack data, which specifically defines what those discrepancies are," Rolfe said.
San Francisco residents Christopher Lloyd is all for collecting data.
"I think collecting data is a good idea, especially if it's voluntary," Lloyd said.
Other residents like Matteo Wright said telling a public agency would bother him.
"It's a little too specific and big brother is always watching, and I just don't want to be targeted for something unnecessary, especially in turbulent times like this," Wright said.