PRIDE AND ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT
Pride month celebrates the important strides made towards ensuring and creating LGBTQIA2S+ rights around the world. From the Decriminalization of homosexuality on May 14, 1969, to the Decriminalization of Conversion therapy on December 8, 2021, the LGBTQIA2S+ community has continuously helped Canada imbibe the values of diversity, social justice, equity, and inclusion. Furthermore, the community is particularly progressive and proactive when it comes to conservation and environmental sustainability. The importance of this movement is evident in the green stripe of the pride flag, denoting nature in terms of human sexuality and the environment. We are celebrating leaders from the community who share a vision of making our environment sustainable and safe for all types of people. Here are the 5 LGBTQIA2S+ environmental leaders you should know:
1. RACHEL CARSON (1907-1964)
Although Rachel Carson chose to keep her personal life private due to social challenges at the time, her works as a Marine biologist sparked environmental movements, including the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Her ground-breaking book ‘Silent Spring’ (1962) exposed the effects of pesticides on natural habitats and the increasing deaths of birds. Consequently, the public institutions unanimously agreed with her research and began investigating the impact of chemical exposure on human health.
2. LINDI VON MUTIUS
Lindi von Mutius has an extensive background in corporate litigation, conservation ecology, and environmental justice advocacy. She identifies as a bisexual woman and holds an M.L.A. in Environmental Management from Harvard University. Currently, she serves as the Chief of Staff for Sierra Club, a non-profit environmental preservation organization, and board member at OUT 4 Sustainability, a non-profit LGBTQIA2S+ environmental advocacy organization.
3. PINAR SINOPOULOS-LLOYD
Pinar Sinopoulos-Lloyd is a queer indigenous activist and the co-founder of Queer Nature, an environmental and ancestral skills-based educational program geared towards the LGBTQIA2S+ community. In 2020, they were the recipients of the Audubon National Society’s National Environmental Championship for their environmental advocacy. Additionally, Pinar Sinopoulos-Lloyd also serves as the adjunct faculty at Weaving Earth and facilitates educational programs at Colorado College and the University of Colorado Boulder.
4. RIKKI WEBER
Rikki Weber serves as a Legal Practice Manager for Earthjustice, the United States’ largest non-profit environmental law organization, working to strengthening environmental laws in court free of charge. Through Earthjustice, Weber has advocated electric vehicles and renewable resources to mitigate pollution emissions. Additionally, Weber has been responsible for creating a welcoming space for LGBTQIA2S+ environmentalists and realizing the goals of Earthjustice’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan.
5. ROSE MARCARIO
Rose Marcario served as the Chief Executive Officer of Patagonia for 12 years. During her leadership, the company changed its mission statement to “We’re in business to save our home planet.” For instance, they donate 1% of sales to environmental nonprofits and in 2016, they gave 100% of their Black Friday sales, a total of $10 million, to environmental nonprofits. Under Rose Marcario’s LGBTQIA2S+ environmental leadership, Patagonia has been rated highly favorable among growing belief-driven buyers and has inspired profit-driven companies to focus on environmental sustainability.
In summary, creating new solutions to solve ecological challenges calls for ideas from all types of people. These 5 LGBTQIA2S+ environmental leaders are re-envisioning how the community participates in biodiversity conservation and sustainability. To find more resources and learn more about the leadership of LGBTQIA2S+ communities in the environmental space, check out the list of organizations here.
Aside from international agreements and long-term plans set by nations, individual organizations have been setting sustainability goals. Product Care Association, a non-profit environmental organization resulting from Canada’s Extended Producers Regulations in 1994, embodies the green values in effective recycling. Product care undertakes recycling programs for paints, lamps, household hazardous wastes, and smoke alarms across Canada. You can learn more about them at www.productcare.org.