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Climate Justice & Grassroots LGBTQI+ Liberation - Astraea Lesbian Foundation For Justice

Climate Justice & Grassroots LGBTQI+ Liberation

Published on Apr 19, 2024

This Earth Day and every day, climate justice is collective liberation. While the impacts of the climate crisis will eventually be felt everywhere, affecting every ecosystem across the Earth, its effects are not experienced equally by everyone and certainly not on an equal timeline. In the United States and its claimed territories, the climate crisis is here, and it is impacting LGBTQI+ communities in uniquely devastating ways.

This Earth Day and every day, climate justice is collective liberation. While the impacts of the climate crisis will eventually be felt everywhere, affecting every ecosystem across the Earth, its effects are not experienced equally by everyone and certainly not on an equal timeline. In the United States and its claimed territories, the climate crisis is here, and it is impacting LGBTQI+ communities in uniquely devastating ways. The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice’s communities—queer, trans, and intersex people, predominately Black, Indigenous, and People of Color—are experiencing the full force of the climate crisis already, and the crisis will worsen exponentially in the years to come. For many of us, the climate crisis is not looming or theoretical. It is real and it is here right now.  

To better meet the needs of a rapidly changing environmental landscape, the increase of natural disasters, alarming reports of environmental racism, and government failure to adequately address these crises, the Astraea Foundation’s U.S. Fund launched our Climate Justice portfolio in 2023. It is one of the first and only LGBTQI+ climate portfolios in philanthropy in the U.S., disbursing $800,000 to climate justice initiatives in its first year. 

In the U.S., we have already seen the decades-long impacts of these changes, particularly in the U.S. South and Puerto Rico. Inadequate response and mitigation to disasters impacts BIPOC communities disproportionately, and that harm is further compounded for queer, trans, and intersex communities living on the margins.  

LGBTQI+ people are significantly more likely to be unhoused or experience poverty and face discrimination in nearly every system of care and response. Our communities grapple with well-known struggles in accessing health care, emergency services that fail to consider the needs of queer, trans, and intersex populations (or exclude these communities entirely), and discrimination at most housing shelters., This combination means that climate justice is inextricably linked to LGBTQI+ liberation.  

At the Astraea Foundation, it’s no longer “What are we going to do about the climate crisis?” 

Instead, it is now “How do we support people already being harmed by the climate crisis?” 

When our systems and governments fail us, our communities go above and beyond to care for themselves and one another. Many of the Astraea Foundation’s grantee partners are already responding to the climate crisis, even if it does not technically fall within their scope. Responses to the climate crisis are as diverse as its far-reaching impacts. 

For the Astraea Foundation’s U.S. Fund grantee partners, climate justice means… 

Emergency preparedness 

The McKenzie Project Inc. (Florida) caters exclusively to the needs of Black transgender and nonbinary people, especially those who engage in sex work and are disproportionately affected by HIV. Their climate preparedness programs include access to transgender specific reproductive services, emergency preparedness courses and kits, and safe spaces to use as shelter during emergencies. 

Regenerative agriculture 

The Black Mycelium Project (North Carolina) organized themselves in 2020 after sharing an analysis for a need for a Southern mutual aid network that centered Queer agrarian organizers and stewards. Their practices are Southern rooted and currently based in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Washington DC. 

Decolonization 

Eagle Bear Cultural Center (California) nurtures and supports Two-Spirit and LGBTQI+ culture keepers working on the frontlines of climate and culture sustainability. From a generations-long relationship with the land and lessons learned from the frontlines of environmental racism, they serve the community of Two-Spirit and LGBTQI+ Indigenous peoples committed to land rematriation, decolonizing culture and identity, and culturally responsive holistic wellness.  

Culturally competent disaster response 

The Center for Embodied Pedagogy and Action (Puerto Rico) is a healing justice project whose mission is to decolonize Puerto Rico through a diverse array of intersectional practices grounded in community care, creative expression and reclamation of afro-indigenous traditions. Their climate programs include refuge during natural disasters, working with queer and trans people to weatherize and prepare for disasters, and providing access to mutual aid in the aftermath of disasters and their mismanagement. 

The existing structures of capitalism and white supremacy cannot fix what they have caused. Queer, trans, and intersex movements have been working for generations to envision and implement community-centered solutions. While the climate crisis and its impacts on housing, migration, food security, healthcare, and more may be a greater challenge than we have ever faced, the Astraea Foundation believes that our communities, when well resourced, will rise to this challenge, just as they always have. 

Will you support the Astraea Foundation’s communities in the fight for climate justice? 

 

Double Your Gift for Climate Justice 

The Astraea Foundation’s U.S. Fund has received a generous matching grant for $100,000 from Groundswell. This year, every gift to the Astraea Foundation will be doubled up to a total of $100,000. 

 

We are excited to have collaborated with intersex, nonbinary, Latinx artist, designer, and muralist Otto Etraud / Toto Duarte to create the beautiful illustration featured above, “Climate Justice is Collective Liberation.” To learn more about Toto and their work, please visit their website and follow them on social media, @ottoetraud.