LGBTI pour le Climat

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To the negotiators, organizers, protesters, NGOs, governments and people of the 21st Conference of the Parties, or, everybody:

I am an LGBTQI person and board member for the organization, OUT for Sustainability, where our mission is to create a Fabulous Planet, by mobilizing the global Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) communities for environmental and social action. I speak for myself in this letter, but wish to inform the public world that LGBTQI identities have a right to exist, a generational future, knowledge of their own history and space to be. As communities who are feeling the effects of a changing climate, LGBTQI people have a right to recognition, participation and a stabilized outcome in global negotiations. LGBTQI rights are a necessary element of sustainability, as much as any other progressive social movement, and should be included in the climate agenda toward an inclusive future. Success on cultural and legal fronts position LGBTQI communities to bring activism, language and solutions to the climate fight. For this, I call for a justly negotiated outcome expressed in international and local initiatives that are accountable, real and meet a 2°C goal.

LGBTQI global citizens have a stake in the climate as people with identities expressed in the richness of human experience and expanded theory of nature. These communities and individuals intersect every nation, ethnicity, race, class, language, religion and ecological sphere on the planet. This diverse community encounters diverse challenges, which are often not shared equally between us. Continuing to work towards overcoming important barriers, the LGBTQI communities seek justice in a changing environment.

The 20th and 21st centuries have been, and continue to be, marked by expanded rights and visibility for sexual orientation and gender identity. A stabilized future climate solution that recognizes social injustices is a real solution. The United Nations Human Rights Council has made progress against state-sponsored LGBTQI suppression, and is a hopeful precursor to wider protections and participation of this global minority group. Expanded human rights means access to healthcare and safety from harm, sustainable concepts owed to all groups, and a necessity to ensuring a stable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and prevent catastrophic outcomes.

As the 21st century continues to address LGBTQI rights and climate change, I understand that a destabilized climate will lead to economic, environmental and social stresses. Marginalized people are not only left behind in this version of a future, but as fear prevails, often take blame as a negative force in society. The continuing marginalization and violence of many are linked to our relationship with the planet and action on climate must not be deterred by hateful responses. I imagine a better future, where LGBTQI people have a right to participate in this process and are highly equipped to do so. They are a representative of our species and a powerful force to create a fabulous future. As an LGBTQI stakeholder on this planet, ready to act and build a platform for a community, I demand a stabilized climate, I demand a halt to fossil fuels, I demand a 2°C cap on emissions, I demand LGBTQI voices are part of its process and I call on them to join.

Brendan Signature-01

Brendan Cook
OUT for Sustainability

November 2015

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