Why LGBTQI communities will be disproportionately affected by the climate crisis – EnvironmentJournal
In a world first, GiveOut, a UK-based charity, launched the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gay and Intersex (LGBTQI) Climate Fund. communities.
The initiative, launched in March 2021, facilitates donations to various international causes through a single fund distributed through GiveOut.
Recipients are largely local foundations which otherwise would not have access to major donors. They are awarded grants of up to £ 5,000 to expand their campaigns, primarily in the areas of climate justice and LGBTQI advocacy.
Since its inception in 2018, GiveOut has raised over £ 650,000 in new funding and currently supports over 30 organizations across five continents.
Rupert Abbott, Executive Director of GiveOut, said: “We created the LGBTQI Climate Fund to provide individuals and businesses with the opportunity to support groundbreaking work at the intersection of LGBTQI rights and climate change, ensuring to ensure that LGBTQI activists have more of the resources they need. to support their communities in the face of the climate crisis.
“The pandemic has shown globally that LGBTQI people are disproportionately affected in crisis situations. But it could turn out to be a dress rehearsal for the biggest challenge of our time: the climate emergency. We predict that LGBTQI communities will be among the most vulnerable to the direct impacts of climate change-related natural disasters and longer-term consequences, including service disruptions, forced displacement and even conflict.
“This will be the case, especially for LGBTQI people in countries most threatened by climate change and where their identities are also illegal or repressed.”
The effect of the pandemic, both on individuals and on organizations that provide crucial support to communities, has been catastrophic.
According to a survey conducted by Consortium, an organization of members of LGBTQI groups, 47% of organizations reported immediate loss of revenue due to the pandemic, with 20% saying they feared they had to shut down.
These strains occur at a time when individuals are particularly isolated and need help. A 2018 LGBT Foundation study found that 30% of cis LGB people and 46% of trans people in the UK had considered suicide in the past year, compared to 1 in 20 in the general population.
These inequalities, rooted in years of oppression and social isolation, are only getting worse as the impacts of climate change become more widespread.
Displacement due to climate shock will particularly affect those who are already marginalized. In the UK, 24% of homeless youth (aged 16-25) identify as LGBTQI.
Rupert Abbot added: “So far we are supporting three groups under the fund. In Jamaica, J-FLAG is undertaking groundbreaking research to understand how their community is affected by the climate crisis and how it is associated with it, building an evidence base on the scale and immediacy of this threat.
“In Southeast Asia, the Equal Asia Foundation empowers LGBTQI activists to engage with governments, humanitarian organizations and climate movements in their countries and to broaden the conversation on climate change, ensuring that their communities are not left behind.
“And in the Kingdom of Tonga, the Tonga Leitis Association is training emergency shelter managers to welcome LGBTQI people and campaigning for the inclusion of their community in future consultations on climate change measures.”
The Fund is already supporting pioneering research alongside activism, enabling a new understanding of the potential impact the climate crisis will have on minority groups.
Many studies point to the exceptional impact that the LGBTQI community has had on a wide range of political and social justice campaigns, and there is also a clear intersection between LGBTQI identities and environmental stewardship.
In a recent interview, Lee Dibben, Head of Fan Engagement at GiveOut, said, “It’s so exciting to talk to activists who are entering new spaces and using their personal identities as political intervention.
“We are witnessing a resurgence of calls for us to recognize the impact of the climate crisis on women, on people with disabilities, on people of different economic status … It is an intervention that will allow us to strengthen our movement, and ally ourselves with other groups that are excluded from the conversation.
“We have been engaged in our struggle for rights for over half a century, and I am sure we have a lot of valuable learning to share.”
To learn more about GiveOut and the projects they support, visit https://giveout.org/
Photo by Mercedes Mehling