'No Pride in ecocide,' says queer climate crisis protester

The climate crisis protester says the LGBT+ community will be among those facing the harshest affects of ecological changes.

climate crisis

A spokesperson for the LGBT+ branch of the Extinction Rebellion movement, Rainbow Rebellion, gave a speech in London’s Parliament Square on October 9, declaring that it will be marginalised communities who are hit first during the climate crisis.

The spokesperson told the crowd that LGBT+ people, migrants, disabled people, trans people and people of colour are “facing disaster on multiple fronts” due to climate change and social issues.

“Austerity is killing us off in vast numbers, hate crimes against us have risen exponentially since the financial crash in 2008, and more recently risen since the EU referendum.

“Homelessness is rising, with 24 per cent of homeless youth identifying as LGBT+.”

Researchers have been clear that among the most vulnerable populations for climate crisis-related phenomena is those without stable housing.

The homelessness figures quoted by the speaker are specific to the United Kingdom, however, international research shows that LGBT+ people are overrepresented in the youth homelessness population, including the USA, Canada and Australia. Most studies estimate that up to 40% of young people experiencing homelessness are LGBT+.

BeLonG To, the national organisation supporting LGBT+ young people, recently partnered with Focus Ireland and UCD to create the first dedicated study of LGBTI+ youth homelessness in Ireland.

Dr Aideen Quilty, of UCD’s School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, said at the time: “This is one of the most important studies undertaken with young LGBT+ young people in Ireland. The voices we need to hear are those of the young people themselves. To understand homelessness in all its forms, we must listen to their stories. Only then can we respond effectively and campaign for change.”

The spokesperson said those involved with the Rainbow Rebellion believe the ecological crisis “is not only a crisis of the planet, not only a crisis of migrants but is a crisis of the LGBT+ community as well. There’s no Pride in ecocide.”

He continued: “As climate breakdown and the ecological crisis accelerates, it is the minority communities and the marginalised who will be hit first. And we refuse to let that happen. We are here as part of a nationwide fortnight of action by Extinction Rebellion.

“The queer community are seasoned protesters. We have fought for our survival before, and we will do it again… This is everyone’s fight.”

The speech took place during a fortnight of international action in cities around the world, beginning from October 7. In Dublin, Extinction Rebellion events included public rallies, a comedy rebellion, non-violent direct action training and a family day in Merrion Square.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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