What does Pride have to do with wanting to save the planet?
Pride (noun): confidence and self-respect as expressed by members of a group, typically one that has been socially marginalized, on the basis of their shared identity, culture, and experience.
In 1969, homosexuality was illegal in every state. That might be hard for us to even imagine now, but back then it was the only reality. Well, that is until the Stonewall riots (check out this PBS documentary) became a catalyst for the modern gay rights movement.
The Uprising at the Stonewall Inn was a protest against discriminatory laws, social treatment, and policing AND proclamation of positive change in the United States and around the world. And the year after, in 1970, Pride began in recognition of these riots and a call for justice and equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community.
Pretty badass, huh?
With the advent of pride also came the creation of the Pride flag, which was initiated in 1977 when Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official, commissioned artist and activist Gilbert Baker to make a flag that would represent the gay community. The final flag (and the one we all know and love): a striped rainbow.
But what you might not know is that the green stripe in the gay pride flag is more than just a pretty color. The color green is a symbol of nature. It’s likely that it’s meant to represent our sexual and gender identities as being natural, but it’s also the literal representation of environmental activism. Community leaders like Harvey Milk championed environmental sustainability along with gay rights. That was in the ‘70s, too.
So why should 2022 be any different? We need to continue to fight for our planet and for the people on it, now more than ever.
The earth is inhabited by a diverse array of life, sexualities, genders, and species. The earth’s varieties of fauna and flora are as expansive, if not more, as the many facets of our own humanity. And they are all worth fighting for.
After all, we as humans are all part of nature. And just as much as we want to have pride in ourselves, our communities, and our culture, we also want to have pride in our planet
While most of us would probably say that we have pride in our planet, there’s a thought that nags in the back of our heads about the destruction and devastation that humanity has been causing the planet for decades. That brings in another aspect: we also want mother nature to be proud of us. In that department, we have lots of room for improvement.
So how do we do that? How do we make mother nature proud? Well, like we said before, we need to fight for her and all the living beings on the planet. We need to find more ways of harmonious living, shop sustainable products, and engage in our communities to find local solutions. In fact, there are lots of small things we can do to show our appreciation for the earth every day.
But one thing that we can do that can have a greater impact is working with grassroots organizations working towards a better planet. Here are a few of the many organizations fighting for and educating people about LGBTQ+ rights, environmentalism, and where the two intersect.
LGBTQ Outdoor Summit
This multi-day conference is the joint effort of Out There Adventures and Pride Outside, two organizations whose missions are to “provide an affirming space” to the community and reduce barriers to help people get outdoors. The summit includes speakers and workshops aiming to teach about conservation and the environment while supporting “equity and social justice outside.”
Out For Sustainability
One of the more popular groups, Out for Sustainability, got its start in 2008. This group rallies the LGBTQ+ community around environmental issues, social issues, and advocacy. It has claimed to be the leading voice for the LGBTQ sustainability movement. Since it began in Seattle, Washington, Out for Sustainability has partnered with other organizations and community leaders to host over 100 events across the country.
Queer Nature was started to create a community for LGBTQIA+, Two-Spirit, non-binary people and allies to reconnect with nature. The mission encompasses place-based skills and ecological awareness as a way of healing marginalized populations. Through workshops and multi-day immersion trips, Queer Nature shares their expertise in a multitude of areas, such as nature-based survival skills, scouting, and basketry.
Queers 4 Climate
Based in the Netherlands, Queers 4 Climate seeks to mobilize around advocacy for the planet, provide a queer presence in the #climatestrike, and educate people on how to self-organize. Their motto—”No pride on a broken planet”—echoes their pledge to fight for climate justice and connect the struggles of marginalized communities around the globe.
Queer X Climate
Queers X Climate (QXC) was founded by environmentalist and Senior Climate Advisor for the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Diego de Leon Segovia. QXC has grown into an international organization that implements “solutions for our common global climate crisis.” The
aim is to unite activist organizations to have a greater influence on climate change awareness. They work in four areas: (1) developing strategic communication to be used for marketing and promoting environmental awareness; (2) encouraging sustainable consumption; (3) creating an inclusive and safe community to promote the work of LGBTQ members; (4) litigating for human rights and climate activism.