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Letters to the editor

by BAR staff

Letters to the editor

LGBTs and climate change
In his original rainbow flag, Gilbert Baker reserved green for nature. Yet, what exactly is the LGBTQ community's special relationship to nature that compelled Baker to include it in what would become our greatest symbol? I've thought about this question a lot as I've stared out my window at the apocalyptic smoke blanketing the Bay Area. Perhaps it is because we have empathy for the fragile and downtrodden. Nature's fragility has never been more apparent than with the recent wildfires.

I'm 24 years old and I'm scared to death by climate change. I don't know what kind of world I will welcome my children into, or if there will be a life worth having for my grandchildren. United Nations climate scientists have warned we have only 12 years to take radical action, wean our country off of fossil fuels, and mitigate the worst of climate change. Fortunately, the LGBTQ community is no stranger to radical action.

For 50 years, LGBTQ people have sharpened their teeth as activists, politicians, and changemakers through gay liberation, AIDS, marriage equality, and transgender rights. It's now time we come together and do what others will not: fight for the future of our planet, our children, and the human race. The political networks and institutions we have built must hold our leaders accountable for a stable climate, clean water, and healthy air. We can start by supporting the Green New Deal, a vision championed by Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to create millions of green jobs, protect working people of all backgrounds, and move our country to renewable energy.

This month's wildfires have taught us that no one is safe from climate change: not Neil Young or Miley Cyrus, not the residents of Paradise, or those of us in the Bay Area. Ignoring the issue out of fear or despair is not an option for our planet's young people who will live with our new climate reality for decades. The situation will be most dire for the poor and marginalized who will have no choice but to face head-on the encroaching flames and rising tides of our future.

The bad news is that climate change is here, stronger and faster than we predicted. The good news is that we have the tools to save ourselves. Now we must only use them.

Neal Ulrich
San Francisco

Rainbow, trans flags in UN Plaza
The mayor raising the trans Pride flag off her balcony recently was a laudable step for visibility, as you recently reported ["Breed declares Trans Awareness Month," November 15]. Let's build on that small step forward.

I would like to see enormous trans Pride and gay Pride rainbow flags flying in the center of United Nations Plaza on December 10, which is Human Rights Day.

At a time when the Trump administration and too many other world leaders are pushing back on liberation and solidarity strides made by queer folks around the world, our great city of San Francisco, which birthed the United Nations, would send a powerful, large, and loud message if our Pride flags flew at this central location.

All it would take is for San Francisco Public Works, the agency responsible for the two flagpoles at this plaza, to obtain the correct sized flags and hoist them, at minimal cost. Flying our Pride flags at UN Plaza annually is an idea we ought to consider.

Visibility = Life!

Michael Petrelis
San Francisco

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