Disasters don’t discriminate against queer people—but disaster responses do


With climbing global temperatures increasing the risk of weather-related disasters fivefold in the last fifty years, it’s safe to say that climate change is affecting everyone. However, not everyone is experiencing the effects of climate change equally. When it comes to climate-provoked emergencies—and social disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic— queer folks often feel the effects differently than their cisgender and heterosexual counterparts. “There are certain vulnerability factors that exist for some Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex people in disaster and emergency contexts,” says Marcilyn Cianfarani, a queer disabled disaster and emergency management specialist and retired paramedic with over 20 years of experience in various emergency management fields.

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