Home » LGBTQ Environmental Justice: Why It Matters and How to Achieve
LGBTQ Environmental Justice
LGBTQ Environmental Justice
Environmental Justice

LGBTQ Environmental Justice: Why It Matters and How to Achieve

Environmental justice is the idea that all people have the right to live in a healthy and safe environment, regardless of their race, class, gender, sexuality, or any other identity.

However, not all people enjoy this right equally.

Some communities face more environmental hazards, pollution, and climate impacts than others, due to systemic oppression and discrimination.

Among these communities are LGBTQ+ people, who often experience environmental injustice in multiple and intersecting ways.

LGBTQ Environmental Justice
LGBTQ Environmental Justice

In this article, I will explore how environmental and climate injustice affects the LGBTQ+ community, why queer liberation is an environmental justice issue, and how we can work together to create a more equitable and sustainable future for all.

How Environmental and Climate Injustice Affects the LGBTQ+ Community

The LGBTQ+ community is not a monolith, but a diverse group of people with different identities, experiences, and needs. However, some common challenges that many LGBTQ+ people face include:

  • Discrimination and Violence:
    • LGBTQ+ individuals face discrimination in housing, employment, education, health care, and legal rights.
    • Higher rates of violence, harassment, and hate crimes compared to cisgender and heterosexual individuals.
    • Limitations in access to safe housing, clean water, healthy food, and quality health care.
  • Homelessness and Displacement:
    • Disproportionate homelessness due to family rejection, poverty, discrimination, and violence.
    • LGBTQ+ youth make up 20% to 40% of the homeless youth population in the United States.
    • Challenges in accessing shelter, sanitation, health care, and safety.
  • Health Disparities:
    • Higher rates of physical and mental health problems, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and violence-related injuries.
    • Influenced by social determinants of health, such as stigma, discrimination, lack of access to health care, environmental exposures, and climate change.
  • Queer Liberation as an Environmental Justice Issue:
    • LGBTQ+ people are marginalized in decision-making processes and ignored in environmental research, policy, education, and activism.
    • LGBTQ+ individuals can be agents of change with valuable knowledge and perspectives.
    • They challenge dominant norms in gender, sexuality, and family.
    • Practice alternative forms of kinship, care, and solidarity.
    • Experiment with sustainable consumption, production, and exchange.
    • Queer liberation aims to dismantle systems of oppression harming both LGBTQ+ people and the environment, creating a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable world.

How to Achieve LGBTQ Environmental Justice Achieving

LGBTQ environmental justice requires collective action from multiple actors at different levels. Some of the actions that can be taken include:

  • Recognize and address the intersectionality of environmental justice issues:
    • Understand that various forms of oppression (racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia) are interconnected.
    • Environmental justice issues are intertwined with social justice issues.
    • Solving environmental problems requires addressing other social justice issues simultaneously.
  • Amplify and support LGBTQ+ voices in the environmental justice movement:
    • LGBTQ+ individuals have valuable contributions to make.
    • Create inclusive spaces for them in research, policy, education, and activism.
    • Listen to their experiences, knowledge, and perspectives.
    • Support LGBTQ+ initiatives and campaigns addressing their specific needs and challenges.
    • Celebrate their achievements in the environmental justice movement.
  • Build alliances and solidarity among diverse environmental justice groups:
    • Recognize the diversity within LGBTQ+ and other environmental justice groups.
    • Acknowledge that they face various forms of oppression.
    • Work together with similar-minded groups (Indigenous peoples, people of color, women, youth, workers, migrants) to achieve common environmental justice goals.
    • Respect differences while finding common ground and mutual support.
    • Collaborate and coordinate actions for a more effective environmental justice movement.


LGBTQ environmental justice is a vital and urgent issue that affects the lives and well-being of millions of people around the world.

It is also an opportunity and a challenge for the environmental justice movement to become more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable.

By recognizing and addressing the intersectionality of environmental justice issues, amplifying and supporting the voices and leadership of LGBTQ+ people, and building alliances and solidarity among diverse environmental justice groups, we can work together to create a more just and livable world for all.

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