This Pride, we’re talking queer ecology with iconic environmental and intersectional drag queen, Pattie Gonia, on Climate Curious.

Transcript: Pride in the wild – what is queer ecology?

TEDxLondon Climate Curious

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Climate Quickie: Pride in the Wild – What is queer ecology?

This Pride, we’re talking queer ecology – gender shifting fish, intersex birds, and how trees can impregnate themselves – revisiting a conversation in 2021 we had with with iconic environmental and intersectional drag queen, Pattie Gonia.

If you enjoyed this quickie, why not listen to Pattie’s full episode on Climate Curious – Why Mother Nature is a Drag Queen:


[00:00:00] Maryam Pasha: Welcome to Climate Quickies, bite sized nuggets of climate goodies from our TED experts in under five minutes.

[00:00:17] Ben Hurst: This week, we’re hearing from Patagonia, our fave environmental and intersectional drag queen here at TEDxLondon. We wanted to

[00:00:25] Maryam Pasha: look at queerness in nature and how it exists. [00:00:30] From

[00:00:30] Ben Hurst: self pollinating trees and birds that are intersex to fish that can switch gender.

[00:00:35] Ben Hurst: And why this proves that the outdoors isn’t just for straight cis

[00:00:39] Maryam Pasha: people. Because Mother Nature didn’t make all plants, animals and of course people like that.

[00:00:45] Ben Hurst: Enjoy and stay curious.

[00:00:51] Maryam Pasha: One

[00:00:51] Ben Hurst: of the things that I want to ask, and I’m interested in this idea of seeing queerness in nature because I don’t have the frame [00:01:00] of reference to see that. And I almost feel stupid, you know, like, it feels like a dumb question to ask, but I feel like it’s definitely there and I just can’t see it because I’m not looking for it.

[00:01:10] Ben Hurst: Is it, are you talking about like animals, or are you talking about plants, or are you talking about literally everything? Yeah,

[00:01:15] Pattie Gonia: okay, so I love that you brought this up. And so like, I’ve done some like, light reading myself, but like, Through meeting other like incredible like outdoor humans and just like people that are just so deep in the roots of queer ecology.

[00:01:28] Pattie Gonia: Like people, okay, quick shout [00:01:30] out here, my friends Pinar and So who run Queer Nature, incredible people that people can learn from. They’re indigenous, they’re non binary, they’re just incredible people who speak to this all the time. But, Yeah, I think what I mean is like, it’s so much different than just like some gay dolphins in the ocean.

[00:01:44] Pattie Gonia: You know what I mean? Like, that’s not what I mean when I think of gay nature. Like, it’s, it’s so much more than that. It’s like, there are fish that can completely change gender throughout their life. Um, certain trees and like plant life can pollinate themselves. If we look [00:02:00] at environments where, uh, Just where, uh, different organisms or different elements of that ecosystem are up against a lot.

[00:02:07] Pattie Gonia: Oftentimes, the way that that organism or that thing survives is through a queer solution of being able to adapt and to change. And so, when I think of queerness, it’s so much more beyond sexuality. Queerness is just the oddity in this world to problem solve no matter what. To almost be different and to bring beauty and brilliance to that through their difference and through that identity.

[00:02:28] Ben Hurst: That makes sense to [00:02:30] me. I get that. And I think there’s also something really important about, like you spoke earlier about, like this, the colonial lens that we apply to, um, uh, uh, climate activism. And I think there’s also this like colonial lens that’s applied to gender, right? Like where, like there’s a binary that’s like, it’s this or this.

[00:02:54] Ben Hurst: And it’s, that’s so interesting what you say about the fish that can like change gender. I’m going to Google that afterwards. So [00:03:00] listen,

[00:03:00] Pattie Gonia: so here’s a cool story. So there was a Cardinal that was just found, um, in kind of like the Northeast United States. that is like an intersex cardinal and literally has its gender markings straight between this white side of this cardinal that is the female cardinal and this red side, which is the male side of the cardinal.

[00:03:15] Pattie Gonia: And we’re literally seeing right there that like intersex creatures exist in nature beyond humans. Um, and I think that’s a really literal example, but to your point, I think. hitting like queerness and nature on the head is we live in this world as [00:03:30] humans where we put things into boxes and categories because it’s the only way for our brain to make sense of them but literally categories do not exist binaries do not exist at all when we can remove the binary thinking of black and white into this murky gray beautiful rainbow there’s so much else out there than just either or or this or that or male and female or gay or straight there’s so much more of a world there

[00:03:56] Ben Hurst: that’s so nice that you’re like you’re able to articulate [00:04:00] that because it feels to me which i think is Probably a big part of the climate conversation that we’re missing.

[00:04:09] Ben Hurst: Thanks for listening to this quickie.

[00:04:11] Maryam Pasha: This episode was created by our usual superstar podcast team. Until next time, stay curious.



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