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Apr 25, 2022

In the latest episode of America Adapts, Doug Parsons hosts Leo Goldsmith of ICF and  Dr. Michael Mendez, Assistant Professor of Environmental Planning and Policy at the University of California, Irvine, to discuss their new paper, Queer and Present Danger: Understanding the Disparate Impacts of Disasters on LGBTQ+ Communities. Mike and Leo discuss the unique vulnerabilities of this community in disaster relief; the myth of gay affluence; how faith-based groups have a history of discriminatory practices in disaster relief; how cohesive is the LGBTQ community and how race is a problem even in LGBTQ groups. Mike and Leo also lay out specific policy recommendations on how adaptation planners can properly consider this community in their planning.

Topics covered:

  • This paper was the first highlighting the lack of laws and policies protecting the LGBTQ community in disaster relief.
  • What is the myth of gay affluence?
  • How faith-based groups are on the front lines of disaster relief and how some of them discriminate against the LGBTQ community when providing that relief.
  • The evolution of the word ‘queer’ and what it means to the LGBTQ community.
  • Examples of discrimination in disaster relief to the LGBTQ community.
  • Is the LGBTQ community a cohesive group?
  • Incorporating language recognizing the LGQBT+ Community would lead to more holistic adaptation planning.
  • Discussion of latest federal executive actions to protect the LGBTQ community.
  • Policy recommendations on how adaptation planners can incorporate the concerns of the LGBTQ community.

(Cover photo by Cecilie Johnsen)

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Links in episode:

“When people are planning for social vulnerability, they totally discount the LGBTQ+ community because it's characterized as being white & wealthy."  

Queer and Present Danger: Understanding the Disparate Impacts of Disasters on LGBTQ+ Communities 

Policy Brief on The Need for Equitable Disaster Response for LGBTQ+ Communities 

Queer & Present Danger - Understanding the disparate impacts of disasters on LGBTQ+ communities.

Climate Justice Must Include All Women

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Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Strategies to Address Climate Change Risk in Low- and Moderate-income Communities - Volume 14, Issue 1

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