Queer ecology is an important aspect of environmentalism that often goes ignored. However, this lens is essential for achieving social justice for all. For decades, queer voices were ignored by white, cis, and heteronormative environmental leaders. “Queer ecology,” according to NYU Press, aims to disrupt hetrosexual norms of who belongs in nature, what is “natural” in sexuality and evolution, and the politics surrounding environmental movements. Queer ecology recognizes that queer communities are essential in addressing climate change and dismantling the heteropatriarchal frameworks that led to the environmental issues of today.
Many of Turning Green’s students are LGBTQIA+ and by supporting and elevating queer voices, we are supporting our student environmental changemakers. Read on to learn more about queer environmental organizations doing the work to advocate for voices of queer people all year long.
Queer Ecojustice Project
The Queer Ecojustice Project is committed to exploring the intersections between eco-justice and queer identities, focusing on people in rural areas, displaced youth, and other organizers. The organization has four main values: culture, consciousness, community, and collaboration. One of the Queer Ecojustice Project’s main focuses is the Fire & Flood Film, a docuseries focusing on two natural disasters, a fire and a hurricane, and their impacts on the LGBTQIA+ communities. They also curate lists of queer ecocritical work by academics and media accessible to people new to the subject.
Permaqueer is a queer environmental justice organization aiming to teach more people about permaculture, self-sustaining agriculture systems, in a way that creates safe communities for all. They connect with First Nation organizers and communities to further their thinking and climate change growth models. Some of Permaqueer’s other goals are to create a community housing and food system, teach forest ecology, and support queer and BIPOC communities. They aim to create more ethical systems by highlighting marginalized people in environmental justice.
Queer Nature is focused on teaching place-based skills with an awareness of post-industrial, globalized, and ecocidal contexts. They do so by teaching workshops based on survival skills, emphasizing and highlighting the knowledge of First Nation, queer, and BIPOC communities. Queer Nature hosts public classes, provides resources, and publishes apocalyptic ecological writing.
Venture Out Project
The Venture Out Project organizes hikes, adventure trips, and outdoor workshops for the queer and trans communities. They also offer classes on trans inclusivity for educators and employers. Some of their most popular activities include queer youth backpacking in New England, rafting in the Southwest, plus-sized hiking, and a forest bathing retreat with toadstool walks! The Venture Out Project is committed to teaching queer people outdoor skills in a safe, inclusive environment.
Queers X Climate
Queers X Climate is an organization dedicated to educating and empowering the queer community on climate change. Their primary goal is to encourage personal change through small, everyday actions. Queers X Climate has a pledge where members reduce their yearly emissions by 50%, share their journey to meet this goal on social media, and form local climate initiatives in their communities.
Queer voices are necessary
Queer environmentalism and the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ leadership are essential in the fight against climate change. Too many environmental problems stem from exploitation. The systems and institutions that exploit the environment are the same ones that exploit, abuse, neglect, and underserve queer communities. Using queer frameworks can help reorient our attitudes toward our planet by taking on a more empathetic and inclusive approach.