Climate change affects everyone on the planet, and its impact is devastating to everyone.
But the burden of its consequences is extremely unequal: the inequality between the rich and the poor, and between different genders and sexual orientations, will increase in times of crisis.
This article first appeared in Human and Nature.
These influences have experienced different depth and extreme influences between and within communities.
according to The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that the already most vulnerable and marginalized population will be most affected by the climate crisis.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and allies (LGBTQIA+) community is one such group, and because of their social vulnerability, they are hidden victims of climate change.
In Africa, LGBTQIA+ people are already more likely to live in poverty, have fewer opportunities to obtain basic human rights—such as the ability to move freely—and face systemic violence, which escalates during periods of instability.
there are more And more violence and state repression, and as climate change intensifies, LGBTQIA+ people on the African continent will struggle most.
In the past In the past two years, climate disasters have swept across the African continent, destroying houses, bridges, schools and entire communities.In Mozambique, due to Hurricane Idai In 2019, there were three more hurricanes.
When Hurricane Idai It landed in Beira, Mozambique, killing more than 1,000 people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, and 2.6 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
The catastrophic damage caused by strong winds and widespread floods wiped out the harvest and destroyed seed stocks. Millions of people have lost their homes and livelihoods.
Two years later, more than 8.7 million people did not have enough food or water, and more than 100,000 people still live in temporary shelters in Mozambique.
Although it is devastating for all affected communities, the affected LGBTIQIA+ groups are even more vulnerable-because of the challenges based on the constant struggle for equal rights and freedom from discrimination and violence.
Earlier this year, Cameroon reminded people of these challenges. According to reports, between February and April, more than 22 people were arrested on charges of homosexuality. Human Rights Watch, Some of those arrested were beaten and other forms of abuse.
After the storm, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people (LGBTQI+) found themselves in danger, and the impact was even more pronounced.
These groups have lost their homes, food, property—in many cases, relatives—and are now facing increasing sexual violence.
Usually, they cannot reach the medical center. Due to the lack of data on these effects, LGBTQI+ people find themselves excluded from rescue work, which further impairs their ability to recover from the shock.
According to Silindile Mchunu, a person from Pink Panther, The eco-feminist movement in South Africa focuses on the intersection between gender and climate.
“In the case of climate disasters, marginalized people are always hit the hardest. In Beira, a city destroyed by Idai, the most affected are lesbians. They live in shabby shelters and are easily Subject to sexual violence and corrective rape.
“On a global scale, LGBTQIA+ individuals are particularly vulnerable to exclusion, violence and exploitation due to the cross-effects of social stigma, discrimination, and climate change. Legal investigation, Homosexual acts are punishable by death in 10 countries and illegal in 61 other countries.
“The other 89 countries discriminate against LGBTQI individuals and families in other ways,” Silindile continued.
“Same-sex couples and families are excluded from legal recognition, are forbidden to adopt children, or are denied housing, employment, and services. Transgender people often face extreme discrimination and even become targets of corrective rape.”
Based on various factors, the impact of climate change has had different effects on all of us-mainly social and economic differences have led to varying degrees of difficulties.
Due to the cumulative impact of social stigma, discrimination, and hatred, LGBTQIA+ individuals are particularly vulnerable to exclusion, violence, and exploitation—especially in Africa.
The social stigma surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community also makes many social opportunities and infrastructure unavailable.
The most recent storm disaster in Mozambique occurred in January this year: Tropical Cyclone Elois landed in Sofala province.
The storm has caused wind damage and Flooding in parts of Madagascar, At least one person was reported dead.
In Mozambique, Elovaz caused severe flooding in parts of Sofala province, but it also affected Zambezia, Inhambane and Manica provinces as it moved west.
The National Institute of Disaster Risk Management and Reduction of Mozambique reported that more than 175,000 people were affected by the storm.
During the storm, the LGBTQI crowd stood on the front line. They are also one of the groups most severely affected by the hurricane, because most LGBTQIA+ communities in Africa are already facing homelessness due to discrimination and abuse by their families.
The root cause of the climate crisis is essentially enveloped by multiple sources of oppression. Climate impacts have been shown to have direct and indirect effects on the effective enjoyment of a wide range of human rights, especially the rights of LGBTQI people, who are often one of the most adversely affected in emergency situations.
The disastrous result is that morbidity and mortality are consistently and disproportionately higher in communities that are already burdened the most.
Silindile Mchunu of the Pink Panthers said: “LGBTQIA liberation must be the core concept of the climate justice organization.
“African queer communities have been fighting for their rights and visibility for the longest time. Therefore, they should be part of the climate change movement.”
In order to achieve climate justice in the LGBTQIA+ community, climate justice should not be another struggle for the queer community. In the campaign to deal with environmental crises, queer voices and their liberation must be eliminated.
The climate justice dialogue lacks enough voices from marginalized groups. The intersection of environmental and climate crisis impacts must highlight the reality of how different marginalized groups define, connect, and respond to them.
Orthalia Kunene is a South African writer and grassroots activist.This article first appeared in Human and Nature.