|The natural world is filled with colorful, magnificent, and fabulously diverse wonders. Many species of mammals, fish, and birds engage in nonreproductive sexual behavior and display same-sex courtship, pair-bonding, and co-parenting. Species like bonobos, giraffes, swans, and lions have all been observed mating for life with individuals of the same sex. Some animals, like moray eels and clown fish, can even change their sex! There are so many examples in nature of animals existing outside of cisgender and heterosexual relationships.|
Environmental issues, like climate change, affects all of us but impact marginalized communities the most, including LGBTQ+ and trans youth who often face discrimination in housing, employment, and healthcare. For Pride Month, we wanted to highlight a few of the many LGBTQ+ naturalists who have contributed tremendously to environmental justice and conservation.
Rikki Weber is a queer BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of color) activist from California. As the Legal Practice Manager and Litigation Assistant II at Earthjustice, an organization that provides legal aid to protect the Earth, she created an LGBTQ group to recognize fellow queer employees, as well as LGBTQ environmentalists from surrounding communities. Jeaninne Kayembe is a Black Queer multi-media artist in this generation’s industries of entertainment, civic engagement, food security, and arts/environmental activism.
| Do you recognize the title Silent Spring? Rachel Carson authored this award-winning book about the effects of DDT and other pesticides. Throughout her career, she researched environmental science and published other works. Cecilia Pineda is an educator in New York City. After graduating from Brown University, they work with non-profit organizations around environmental justice, education, and migrants’ rights like Audre Lorde Project, a community organizing center led for and by queer, trans, gender non-conforming, and two-spirit people of color. Jon Stryker is the founder of the Arcus Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that primarily supports the advancement of LGBTQ+ rights and great ape conservation efforts. He has mentioned “compassion and justice” as the two themes that connect his work in conservation and LGBTQ+ advocacy. There are so many historic and modern LGBTQ+ climate advocates and environmental justice activists to recognize for their work!|
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