LGBTQIA2S+ justice

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This page contains knowledge shared by people present at the HUB's learning circle on LGBTQIA2S+ issues and climate justice.

Defining 'Queer'

Queer is “a multi-faceted word that is used in different ways and means different things to different people such as; 1) Attraction to people of multiple genders, 2) Does not conform to cultural norms regarding gender and/or sexuality, 3) General term for all non-heterosexual people. Some people in the community may feel the word has been used against them in a hateful way for too long, and therefore do not prefer to use it. [1]

LGBTQIA2S+ is an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer / questioning, intersex, asexual, and Two-Spirit; the plus sign (+) represents the infinite variety of gender identities and sexualities that fall outside of, or are not represented by, this acronym. - UBC Equity & Inclusion, adapted by Michelle Xie [2]

Examples of identities included in LGBTQIA2S+

Sexual and gender orientations that veer away from heterosexual, cisgender norms are included in this acronym. Some examples of these identities are included in the below table, but this is not an exhaustive list.


A person who has sexual or romantic attraction to people of one's own gender identity.


A person who has sexual or romantic attraction to people of one's own gender identity and of other gender identities. Some people may choose to use the term pansexual as an alternative to the term bisexual. [3]


A person whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.

Queer A multi-faceted word that is used in different ways and means different things to different people such as; 1) Attraction to people of multiple genders, 2) Does not conform to cultural norms regarding gender and/or sexuality, 3) General term for all non-heterosexual people. Some people in the community may feel the word has been used against them in a hateful way for too long, and therefore do not prefer to use it. [4]
Two-spirit An Indigenous person who identifies as having both a masculine and a feminine spirit; describes their sexual, gender and/or spiritual identity. [5]
Non-binary A person who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that is neither entirely male nor entirely female; a person who is non-binary may also identify as gender fluid (not having a fixed gender) or agender (does not identify with gender binaries and norms). [6]

Queer justice is a climate justice issue

This content was mainly compiled from the following post by Banking on a Better Future.

Queer people are more likely to experience poverty, food insecurity, and displacement. The climate crisis increases this risk.

  • Queer Canadians were 2x as likely to experience housing insecurity in their lifetime. [7]
  • 2 in 5 queer Canadians had a total personal income of less than $20,000 per year in 2018. [8]
  • Lack of access to housing increases the risk of heat stress/stroke during extreme heat events, and to wildfire smoke exposure, which are increasing and frequency and severity due to the climate crisis. [9]
  • Those without access to vehicles or the funds to pay are vulnerable to being left behind when disaster strikes, as was evident in the 2023 wildfires when thousands of folks without housing and/or living in poverty in Yellowknife were left vulnerable. They were the last to be evacuated. [10]
  • Poverty and houselessness become even more likely for multiply marginalized queer people.

Climate disasters increase violence towards queer people

  • Hate-motivated violence against LGBTQ+ individuals like physical attacks, arbitrary arrest, torture, sexual assault, and murder can increase as the temperature rises. [11]
  • They may also face heightened risks of physical and sexual violence in the aftermath of climate-related disasters. [12]

Queer people are highly at risk as climate migrants

  • Around 1/3 of countries actively persecute members of the queer community, and queer safety and rights are under attack in many 'safe' countries. With an increase in forced migration due to climate disaster, the safety of queer people is at risk. [13]
  • Queer people face multiple barriers to immigration and asylum claims. 
Delays in care, services and access to employment
  • Things such as deadlines for having identification papers in the gender which a person identifies will be lengthened by the climate crisis. This means waiting several years to be recognized as the gender they identify.
  • Climate migrants have less employment options when they flee home. There are even further barriers to employment based on other marginalized identities (queer, BIPOC etc).
QTBIPOC are less welcomed outside of urban centres
  • In so-called Canada, many urban cities have thriving queer communities, where queers are able to be themselves and experience physical and psychological safety. The lived experiences of many queers describe feeling more isolated, discriminated and othered outside of city environments. This makes access to wilded spaces more difficult.

What makes a group LGBTQIA2S+ friendly?

  • Meet the accessibility and space needs of queer people. See our wiki page on making your activism accessible for more.
  • Educate yourself about the issue of intersectionality
  • Effort to build trusting relationships between people, especially other queer people
  • Have a culture of listening to the needs of others

Environments still have work to do to become welcoming to queer people. The queer people who are part of it experience a great mental and emotional burden from having to do educational work relating to the issues they are experiencing. It can lead to burnout. Some activists may choose to organize as a queer-based group to mobilize without having to do educational labour while fitting into larger movements such as climate justice.

Learning from LGBTQIA2S+ activists

Question for learning circle participants: What have queer circles taught you / are teaching you?

Check in on each other

At the start of the meeting, practice asking what state of mind each member is in to better understand each other.

Communication of sensitive topics

When there are sensitive topics to discuss, include these points: 

  • desires and fears related to the outcome of the discussion
  • limits (ex: "in case of conflict, I would like us to postpone the discussion")
Self-awareness in the space shared with others, such as balancing speaking time. 
Open mindedness

Encourage a culture of learning and growing together, and practice giving and receiving feedback. This means challenging perfectionism and defensiveness.

Sharing capacities

Challenge the gender roles and values ​​of capitalism pushing us towards overworking. Prioritize primary needs (i.e. nutrition, sleep etc.) before working, studying or being an activist. Regularly remind one another to avoid falling into the culture of burnout and hyper-productivity. 

“There are a lot of activists with disabilities or illnesses who still get involved. Sometimes you have to check in with these people often to [make sure] they don't take too much on their shoulders. We have to do check-ins with our communities."


Collective NU.ES

"The Collectif NU.ES is a non-profit organization whose goal is to create interdisciplinary and contemporary performative pieces on the diversity of bodies, intimacies, and eroticisms. It brings together artists passionate about these subjects and keen to explore them from Queer and sex-positive perspectives. Its artistic mission is to create and develop an art that will question our identity, relational and aesthetic standards, an art that is both intimate and political.

It was founded in 2019, and is now co-directed by artists Juliette Pottier Plaziat, Maude Choquet Blanchette, and Myriam Foisy. In addition to its official launch (June 2019), the collective participated in various events such as the Montreal Erotic Art Market (2019, 2020), and the Theosexual opening: spiritual porn (2019). The collective is currently working on a Franco-Quebec project for its first original creation: When the snow melts between my thighs (provisional title), as well as on mediation workshops combining art and sex education."

 Deviant ecologies, Cyril Lecerf Maulpoix

 "Noting that ecological movements struggle to integrate the question of minorities, particularly sexual minorities, and sometimes adopt hostile positions in the face of PMA and transidentity, for example, the author went to draw on currents of English socialist thought. 19th century models of communities that experimented with minority lifestyles."

 The Nap Ministry

"The Nap Ministry was founded in 2016 by Tricia Hersey and is an organization that examines the liberating power of naps. Our “REST IS RESISTANCE” framework and practice engages with the power of performance art, site-specific installations, and community organizing to install sacred and safe spaces for the community to rest together. We facilitate immersive workshops and curate performance art that examines rest as a radical tool for community healing. We believe rest is a form of resistance and name sleep deprivation as a racial and social justice issue.  

We are very active on social media because we view our pages as one of our many tools to help deprogram the masses from grind culture. Please feel free to follow us to learn more about this justice movement."

Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty: Affirmations for the Real World (Hana Shafi)

"Let's get one thing straight: Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty: Affirmations for the Real World is not a book of advice. You're not going to find a step-by-step guide to meditation here, or even reminders to drink lots of water and get enough sleep.Those things are all good for you, but that's not what Hana Shafi wants to talk about.

Instead, Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty—built around art from Shafi's popular online affirmation series—focuses on our common and never-ending journey of self-discovery. It explores the ways in which the world can all too often wear us down, and reminds us to remember our worth, even when it's hard to do so. Drawing on her experience as a millennial woman of colour, and writing with humor and a healthy dose of irreverence, Shafi delves into body politics and pop culture, racism and feminism, friendship, and allyship. Through it all, she remains positive without being saccharine, and hopeful without being naive.

So no, this is not an advice book: it's a call to action, one that asks us to remember that we are valid as we are—flaws and all—and to not let the bastards grind us down."

"Tells the story of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the fires in Santa Rosa, California, two-near simultaneous climate-related disasters in the fall of 2017, through the voices of LGBTQ people who lived through them and were part of the community response The film explores the vulnerability of LGBTQ communities to climate disasters and also lifts up queer and trans strategies for resilience, transition, and survival.

"Fire and Flood" was piloted at the National LGBTQ Task Force's Creating Change Conference in January, 2018, with positive feedback on the need for these stories in the LGBTQ movement."


"Treating such issues as animal sex, species politics, environmental justice, lesbian space and "gay" ghettos, AIDS literatures, and queer nationalities, this lively collection asks important questions at the intersections of sexuality and environmental studies. Contributors from a wide range of disciplines present a focused engagement with the critical, philosophical, and political dimensions of sex and nature.These discussions are particularly relevant to current debates in many disciplines, including environmental studies, queer theory, critical race theory, philosophy, literary criticism, and politics. As a whole, Queer Ecologies stands as a powerful corrective to views that equate "natural" with "straight" while "queer" is held to be against nature."

QUEER AND TRANS LIBERATION: OUR CLIMATE VOICES "This episode brings together five queer and trans climate justice organizers to talk about how struggles for queer and trans liberation connect with fights for climate justice. From cities across the US to Belgium and Botswana, we discuss how queer and trans people, particularly those of color, are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change; how personal experiences with homophobia and transphobia have impacted our lives; and the ways in which systemic violence and oppression towards those who defy gender norms often leave members of queer and trans communities abandoned, homeless, and forced to survive with little to no resources or support in times of climate crisis."
ARTICLE: What the queer community brings to the fight for climate justice An article by Aletta Brady, Anthony Torres and Philip Brown published on the Grist website that highlights lessons the queer community can bring to climate justice movements.

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