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๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ Celebrating the beauty of diversity and taking action this Pride Month

Updated: Jun 13


Blog by Amy Coyne (She / Her)

Communications Manager, Sustainable Merton



While Pride Month celebrates LGBTQIA+ rights and inclusivity, at its core, it exists because this community still experiences violence and abuse on a daily basis. It is also an opportunity for us to shine a spotlight on the lack of justice for LGBTQIA+ people within the "climate sphere" and take action for a safer, more inclusive future where we are all free to be ourselves.

โ€œPride is not a party, Pride is a protest.โ€

- Jelle Zijlstra, Queers4Climate Activist and Greenpeace Community Mobiliser



๐ŸŒŽ CLIMATE CHANGE IS AN INTERSECTIONAL ISSUE.


As a marginalised group, LGBTQIA+ people are disproportionately affected by climate change. Why? Poverty and unemployment are more commonly found within the queer community, as finding employment can be extremely challenging. With unemployment often comes homelessness which leaves people at risk from air and water pollution, extreme weather and natural disasters. In the UK, Crisis reported 24% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQIA+ and are less likely to be housed than their straight peers.



๐ŸŒˆ CELEBRATING DIVERSITY IN NATURE & COMMUNITIES


Our planet survives and thrives because of its diversity. It's an essential part of what makes nature beautiful and why we want to protect it. Just like vibrant and flamboyant displays of colour, queerness is found in countless animal and plant species, same-sex penguins adopting and rearing chicks being just one example, and both gender and sex binaries are fluid among a large array of fauna and flora. It's the complexity of nature that wows us when we're watching a David Attenborough documentary, right?


Equally, it is the diversity and uniqueness among people which make communities so much richer. If we care for the planet and want it to flourish we must care for its people and enable them to flourish, too. Taking on climate change is a big fight and we will always be stronger together ๐ŸŒˆ

โ€œIn diversity there is beauty and there is strength.โ€

Maya Angelou




โœŠ๐Ÿฟ ACTIVE ALLYSHIP THIS PRIDE MONTH AND BEYOND


As an environmental charity, Sustainable Merton truly believes in the power of community action and is proud of the diversity among its volunteers, supporters and staff, people who care about the planet and its people. We want to keep learning and create an open environment where everyone feels safe and can be themselves.


Eden Project Communities, which runs the Month of Community, has written a great blog in which it shares its top advice to help you be an ally to any group that has faced marginalisation. Here are the key points:


๐Ÿ’š Show your support by creating an open environment.


๐Ÿ‘‚๐Ÿฝ Listen and simply be there for someone if they want to talk to you.


๐Ÿ—ช Understand language and terminology. Apologise if you get something wrong and say thank you if someone corrects you.


โ›” Donโ€™t make assumptions.


๐Ÿ“— Educate yourself on the history and efforts of marginalised groups.


โœ๏ธ Write to your MP about the issues affecting people in your community and sign petitions to make your voice heard.


โœ‹๐Ÿป Respectfully call out unacceptable behaviour to change perceptions and let people know their negative opinions wonโ€™t be welcome in your community.


๐Ÿซถ๐Ÿฟ Be an active but humble ally. Reminding people that thereโ€™s discrimination out there wonโ€™t make them feel good. If youโ€™re a business or want to use LGBTQIA+ or other icons for your community event, make sure youโ€™re actively being an ally and showing your support in a meaningful way.



ACT NOW ๐Ÿ“ฃ CALL ON THE UK GOVERNMENT TO TAKE PRIDE IN ITS LGBTQIA+ CITIZENS


Hate crimes against LGBTQIA+ communities have risen drastically in the past few years in the UK.ย With the next General Election approaching, this is a pivotal moment for our country so this Pride Month, Stonewall is calling on all of us to make our voices heard and tell the next UK Government to take pride in its LGBTQIA+ citizens.


๐Ÿ”Ž LISTEN AND LEARN


You don't have to be perfect when it comes to being an ally. It's about progress, not perfection. Learning will help you to better understand allyship and how to take action which will make a big difference in your organisation, group and/or community.



Here are some helpful resources...



๐Ÿ“š READ


๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ How to be an LGBTQ+ ally in your community ~ Eden Project Communities


๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€โšง๏ธ Climate Change & The LGBTQ+ Community ~ Climate Literacy Project


๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ Why we are focusing on climate this Pride ~ TedXLondon


๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€โšง๏ธ A natural state of being: LGBTQ+ behaviours in the animal kingdom ~ Greenpeace


๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ The Rainbow Ocean: 6 ocean species to celebrate Pride month with


๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€โšง๏ธ Pattie Gonia Wants To Save The Earth โ€” And Make Queer People Feel Safer On It ~ Huffington Post


๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ Build a workplace that works for LGBTQ+ people ~ Stonewall



โค๏ธ FOLLOW


๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ Stonewall UK


๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€โšง๏ธ Pride


๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ Pattie Gonia (they/she/he) ~ Drag queen, Environmentalist and Community Organiser


๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€โšง๏ธ Queer Brown Vegan - Isaias Hernandez (he/they) ~ Environmental Educator crafting stories of sustainability, research, and evidence-based hope.



๐ŸŽง LISTEN



What is an intersectional environmentalist? ~ Climate Curious podcast


Why Mother Nature is a drag queen ~ Climate Curious podcast


Why climate's got a diversity problem ~ Climate Curious podcast



โค๏ธ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’œโค๏ธ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’œ


YOUR LOCAL LGBTQ+ GROUP


Merton Plus is the new support group for the LGBTQIA+ community in the London Borough of Merton. The aim of the group is to provide support, advice, signposting, and face-to-face help via events, for the community of all ages.


Find out more at merton.lgbt


โค๏ธ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’œโค๏ธ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’œ


We'd LOVE you to join our community, too! ๐Ÿ˜Š



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