Queering Environmental Justice: A Glance into Intersectional Perspectives

October 19, 2022

Early environmental justice advocacy started with a focus on the impacts of where toxic pollutants and toxic facilities were located in relation to communities of color. 

LGBT+ pride parade, man walking with a flag surrounded by a crowd of cheering supporters

Since its inception, environmental justice has grown to include and address topics investigating the relationships between the environment and its impacts on marginalized and protected communities, including but limited to BIPOC communities, women, low-income populations, immigrants, and plant/animal species. However, to date, there has been a limited amount of literature and research that has delved into the association or causation between unequal environmental burdens and the LGBTQ+ community.

Leo Goldsmith, a Climate and Health Specialist at the U.S. Global Change Research Program and graduate of Yale’s Environmental Management program, decided to venture out into this research area to explore innovative and interdisciplinary ways to address environmental inequities faced by the LGBTQ+ community. Leo recently co-authored a paper titled “Queering Environmental Justice: Unequal Environmental Health Burden on the LGBTQ+ Community'' which focuses on how to draw associations between unequal environmental health burdens and the LGBTQ+ populations through a framework they worked to develop. The framework illustrates different environmental exposure pathways and how they can compound on top of already existing health inequities or create health inequities in LGBTQ+ populations.