The Intersection of LGBTQ+ and Environmental Justice Movements: Comment by Professor Barreto

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Danny Barreto, Associate Professor of LGBTQ Studies, comments on the intersection between the LGBTQ+ and environmental justice movements: 

“Where I see the most important overlap between movements for LGBTQ+ and environmental justice is in their resistance to settler colonial fantasies of what the world should look like. We are regularly witnessing the extinction, not just of plants and animals, but also of languages, foodways, spiritual belief systems, epistemologies and forms of gender and sexual expression. Communities that have long recognized ways of living beyond the gender binary of heteropatriarchy, such as the nádleeh of the Navajo Nation, the burrnesha of Albania and the fa’afaine of Polynesia, are struggling to resist the monocultural tendencies brought about by globalization, white supremacy, capitalism and Western ideals of masculinity and femininity. While we know that biodiversity is essential to our survival, less often do we discuss the fact that so are sexual and affective diversity. Said another way, our collective future depends on our ability to develop diverse inter- and intraspecies forms of care. What my research into rural and agricultural LGBTQ+ communities in Galicia and Puerto Rico has taught me is the urgency with which we must foster environments that can support diverse forms of life and diverse ways of living. In Summer 2019, a Colgate service learning trip went to Caguas, Puerto Rico and visited El Departamento de la Comida (pictured above), a queer-run organization dedicated to food sovereignty.”