Today, people all over the world will walk out of work and school to strike, demanding action on climate change. Strikes have started in much of the world, with CNN reporting that 100,000 people gathered in Melbourne, Australia to demonstrate and call for action.
Actions are taking place all across the world, and you can find one near you by clicking here.
The terrors of climate change will ultimately come for us all, but the most marginalized members of our communities are suffering first. Low income people and nonwhite people globally are already facing worsening fires, droughts, and storms, a lack of access to clean water, and more extreme heat without air conditioning.
Trans and queer people are more likely to be low income than their cishetero peers. Low income people are more likely to live in areas with no clean water, and areas that are especially susceptible to severe damage by storms.
Trans and queer people are more likely to be incarcerated than their cishetero peers. Incarcerated people often are kept in cages built on toxic waste sites and are trapped and unable to move during storms. After a severe storm, they may be without power, without water, kept in flooded cells, and less able to contact family and loved ones outside of the prison.
Indigenous communities, including Two-Spirit people whose gender is beyond the binary imposed by colonizers, have been on the forefront of the struggle against capitalist destruction of land and water and yet are often erased from the movement.
Today’s climate strike marks a key moment in larger coalition building, and it is essential that the trans and queer liberation movement centers climate change to protect the most vulnerable members of our community first, and ensure a future for all of us.
A few organizations doing the work:
- Fight Toxic Prisons works specifically at the intersection of incarceration and environmental justice
- Indigenous Environmental Network is a coalition of indigenous climate activists
- Our Climate Voices is collecting stories of the many voices impacted by climate change
Alex Petkanas is a student at Brooklyn Law School. They are an able-bodied, white, trans person who grew up in a small town in Connecticut, and went to high school and college in upstate New York. Alex intends to pursue a legal career in public interest work, and spent the past semester in an LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic, focusing on name changes for transgender people in New York State.