Towards Just Sustainabilities

Connecting the dots!!

How does inclusion of LGBT+ community align with the 4 pillars of ‘Just Sustainabilities’?

Improving our quality of life and well-being

A recent report found that due to widespread stigma, the LGBT community especially the elders tend to have more medical problems, higher poverty levels and more social isolation than straight elders. Same-sex partners lack equal access to resources that are offered to spouses and biological family members during the aging process. In addition, LGBT elders tend to lack support from many mainstream aging programs such as senior centers and places of worship or they are afraid of the stigma and discrimination that could result from reaching out to those programs. Many LGBT elder couples are denied the right to live together in mainstream retirement communities and continue to live on their own, even if they need access to the services offered by those communities. These elders may fear ill treatment by housing staff and choose to re-enter or stay in the closet to obtain housing. Because large numbers of this population choose to live alone, they have fewer opportunities for social interaction than their heterosexual peers.

One successful LGBT WISE (Working to Improve Services to Elders) program that India needs to learn from is, Lavender Seniors of the East Bay, which works to improve the quality of life of older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents of Alameda and Contra Costa counties through a Friendly Visitor program. This program trains volunteers to create social connections for LGBT elders which can include dinner parties, field trips, in-house visits and meals, outings to the grocery store and daily telephone calls. The elder participants have reported that the program alleviates feelings of loneliness and isolation, better enables them to be independent, keeps them connected to the LGBT community and has positive impacts on their health and well-being.
(Source: Northern California Grantmakers)

I think if there will be a complete acceptance of LGBT+ community in our society, free from all sorts of discrimination, stereotypes and prejudices, it will help the community to have a better quality of life and well-being. The mere idea of being yourself, live freely without any inhibitions can help reduce the mental stress level. This can eventually lead to improved overall health conditions, lowering suicidal rates, easy access to health facilities etc.

Justice and equity in terms of recognition, process, procedure, and outcome
The effects of stigma and exclusion are potentially costly to economies. A conceptual model links exclusion of LGBT people and economic development through (1) lower productivity and lower output as a result of employment discrimination and constraints on labor supply; (2) inefficient investment in human capital because of lower returns to education and discrimination in educational settings; (3) lost output as a result of health disparities that are linked to exclusion; and (4) social and health services required to address the effects of exclusion that might be better spent elsewhere. (Source: World Bank Document)
The society needs to acknowledge the differences that exist between people including their race, gender, sexual orientation, disability status etc and treat everyone fairly. The historically marginalized communities need to be treated equitably in order to bridge the gap between them and the privileged communities.

Meeting the needs of both present and future generations (intra-generational and inter-generational equity)
Social acceptance is a basic human need. If we start bringing acceptance for LGBT+ community in our behavior and society today, it will help the present and the future generations to be themselves, to feel confident with their identity without the fear of being ostracized.

The society needs to acknowledge the differences that exist between people including their race, gender, sexual orientation, disability status etc and treat everyone fairly. The historically marginalized communities need to be treated equitably in order to bridge the gap between them and the privileged communities.

The topic of my case study and the social acceptance of LGBT+ community did not align completely with this pillar of Just Sustainabilities but I have tried to build a connection with the two.

Living within ecosystem limits (also called ‘one planet living’)
The topic of my case study and the social acceptance of LGBT+ community did not align with this pillar of Just Sustainabilities.