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What’s good, my fellow queer babies? Happy Pride! Welcome to The Seedling, brought to you by The Uproot Project. I’m Yessenia Funes (she/her), writing to you all from the quiet, tree-lined streets of Queens, New York. Though I’m currently the climate director of Atmos, a very dope and very gay climate magazine, I’ve previously sat on Uproot’s steering committee and am proud to say I helped birth this baby. I’m glad to be here with you all this month. 

June is one of my favorite months of the year. Summer is not quite yet here, so it’s hot but not that hot (yet). And, sure, it’s when all the gays come out of hibernation—but it’s also a month for powerful climate storytelling. Hurricane season has begun. And wildfire season (though it’s not really a season anymore) is here, too. 

Some of my favorite climate stories for June, however, don’t revolve around weather disasters. No, they center the queer, trans, nonbinary, gay, lesbian, bi, intersex, two-spirit, and all other LGBTQIA+ identities that flourish under the sun. The intersection of gender/sexuality and climate is a strong one, but the media don’t pay much attention to it. 

We at Atmos, I must say, are the exception. We go hard for Pride. Last year, I published a months-long feature on a gay land activist in Brazil who was murdered. Though our identities are something to celebrate, they can also make us a target. This is an urgent narrative that every single reporter should find ways to tell. This year, I’m working on a few stories for Pride. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’m profiling a pretty dope trans climate activist who’s suing the U.S. government. I’ve also commissioned a queer Black writer to talk about their role as an educator, especially in light of the recent gun tragedies to hit our nation. I’m also trying to answer how this heat is affecting celebrations around the globe. 

That’s what Pride is about. It’s about telling stories that not only alert the public to how our queerness compounds with the climate crisis. It’s also about inspiring readers and uplifting the queer community’s accomplishments. And while we should write about the gays, we must also hire the gays. As a bi baby who covers climate justice, I pride myself on bringing this lens into my work year-round. I hope you all do the same.

Happy Pride! And stay safe, y’all. This summertime heat is no joke. Gotta love climate change.

-Yessenia Funes, Climate director at Atmos

What Are You Planting? 

Name: Laura Marina Boria. Independent audio producer and PhD candidate at UT-Austin whose work has appeared on Podcaster@s, Bello Collective, Radiophrenia 2021, Festival Tsonami 2022.

What's one of your favorite pieces you’ve written? A piece I remember fondly is Podcasting for the Planet, published by Bello Collective. It is a peek into the creative process of audio producers who were generous and shared how they find ways to tell engaging climate stories. I take inspiration from them because stories about the environment also deserve to be told with both information and experimentation in mind.

What's a piece of advice you wish you could give to your younger self? Have an idea? Don't hesitate to share it with someone you trust. Hearing ourselves talk out loud often helps to sort through our thoughts and experiences.

What are you listening to? I'm listening to Poetry Unbound, a podcast hosted by Irish poet Pádraig Ó Tuama. In each episode, he briefly reads and comments on a poem. I admire Pádraig's ability to talk about big topics like language, power, conflict or religion in such a concise and moving way.

Read their work here!

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Uproot Updates
  • Attention PNW Uprooters! The first Uproot regional meet-up in over two years is officially happening in Seattle on June 25th. Register here.
  • Join The Uproot Project and The Solutions Project on June 30th at 3:30pm ET for a webinar on Hope & Justice: The latest shifts in the climate solutions media landscape. The conversation will include Uproot's own Yessenia Funes! Register here.


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