By Rashi Agarwal, Creative Director
Happy Pride Month!
Everywhere we look, June displays the vibrant shades of the rainbow celebrating identity, equity, inclusion and diversity. This reminds us of how far we have come on the path towards LGBTQ+ rights and equality. These colours are also an inspiration to the work that is yet to be accomplished and to uphold the values they stand for. One, in particular, stands out to me. Green, the colour associated with nature, healing, kindness and compassion. Green is not just a pretty colour on the rainbow flag. It denotes nature in terms of gender and sexual orientation being a natural part of what makes us human, as well as representing the green grass, leaves, forests and the rest of the natural environment that sustains us.
The LGBTQ+ community has often been victimized by people in society who target others that defy binary gender roles, expression and identity. The injustices they face has led them to build their community into one that fosters love and care for each other and the environment. Challenging the social norms leads them to create individualistic and innovative forms of resistance towards social constructs as seen in the Queer Dance Party for Climate Justice. Also, non-profits such as True Colours Fund and OUT for Sustainability are dedicated to bridging LGBTQ+ identities and sustainability values.
Climate justice shows us that the origins of climate change are intertwined with the origins of multiple oppressions. Climate change, not unlike the oppression of the LGBTQ+ community, is fuelled by capitalism and neocolonialism. Capitalism has deeply threatened not only the biodiversity on the planet but also marginalised people by perceiving their bodies as “unproductive”. Additionally, colonial practices have affected the natural environments and also fabricated some unwanted binaries in indigenous peoples across the world.
Patty Berne & Vanessa Raditz, co-founders of the Queer Ecojustice Project and Sins Invalid respectively, emphatically illustrate the inherent link between climate change and the LGBTQ+ movement:
“Whether we’re looking at ecology, society, or our human culture, biodiversity is our best defence to the threats of climate change. When we begin to see our own diversity reflected in the ecology of this planet, we can also recognise that the same forces threaten both. It’s not difficult to see parallels in the havoc that capitalism and the drive to hoard wealth has wreaked on our bodies as queer people, gender nonconforming folks, and people from colonised lands, and how that capitalism has abused and exploits the land.”
The shared vision of both movements to build a progressive and proactive community puts them under the same ideological umbrella. These social issues impact one another; to move forward, we must stand together and build the strength to advocate both movements with more resilience. The delicacy of the Earth’s ecosystem is created by the interplay of all its components, not unlike the global community that can only flourish if all of its members are interconnected.