The ecosexual movement is a grassroots social movement that has blended sustainability, environmental and climate justice with gender, sexual and reproductive rights activism into a new transnational movement for social change. An example of a movement strategy I observed is to reframe the cultural metaphor from “Mother Earth” to “Lover Earth.” From this perspective, instead of viewing nature as an enemy force to be dominated, or the earth as a mother that will take care of us forever, we are invited to come to see the “Earth as Lover” in an equal partnership with ourselves. The message from this branch of the ecosexual movement is that if you take care of something erotically, you generally care for it in other ways.
Building off of queer ecology, Josh Sbicca (2012) wrote about the blending of LGBTQ communities with food and agricultural based struggles into what he termed a part of the emerging “eco-queer movement.” Additionally, the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21, 2014 contained a “Queers for the Climate” contingent (Toscano 2014). Participants chanted: “We’re here! We’re queer! We’re here to save the planet!” The San Francisco LGBTQ Pride Parade on June 28, 2015 included an ecosexual contingent, sponsored in part by the University of California, Santa Cruz E.A.R.T.H. Lab, that focused on water concerns. Organizers advocated to officially add an ‘E’ (for Ecosexual) to LGBTQI‘E’ (Stephens and Sprinkle 2015).
While some of these strategies may seem odd, the serious environmental and climate issues we are facing call for all of us to be engaged. As Albert Einstein famously said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Perhaps making the environmental movement a little more fun, sexy and diverse will lead to a much needed increase in inclusion, innovation and hope. It’s worth a second thought as we focus on the annual meeting theme.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the annual sociology meetings in Chicago!
Keen, Sam. 1983.The Passionate Life: Stages of Loving. San Francisco: Harper.
Sbicca, Joshua. 2012. “Eco-queer Movement(s): Challenging Heteronormative Space through (Re)Imagining Nature and Food.” European Journal of Ecopsychology 3: 33-52.
Stephens, Beth and Annie Sprinkle. 2015. “Ecosex Contingent is Coming Out at SF Pride and Will Add the ‘E’ to LGBTQI’E’.” (https://theecosexuals.ucsc.edu/press-release/)
Toscano, Peterson. 2014. “Why on Earth Is this Gay Guy Marching for Climate?” Huffington Post, September 17. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peterson-toscano/why-on-earth-is-this-gay-_b_5835652.html)