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Home  >  Latest News  > LGBT History Month

LGBT+ History Month

This article is part of our series 'Spotlighting Diversity in Environmentalism'. In this series we'll be celebrating the days and months that raise awareness of diversity in our society, regarding race, gender, sexual orientation amongst many other examples of diversity and inclusion. Celebrating diversity in our society is so important, and we want to highlight those people who have made significant contributions to the environmental cause. 

This February we’re marking LGBT+ History Month. This annual event is a celebration of the lives of LGBT+ people of the past. It began as a way to raise awareness of, and combat prejudice against, the LGBT+ community while also celebrating its achievements and contributions to science, sports, politics, and the arts.  

Many LGBT+ activists, scientists and communicators have contributed to the fight against climate change, and we want to ensure that they get the recognition they deserve. Here in Nottingham, we’re working with all communities of the city to move closer to making Nottingham a carbon neutral city by 2028.  

LGBT+ scientists have made huge contributions to conversation efforts around the world, and this LGBT+ History Month we want to shine a light on just one of those scientists: conservationist Rachel Carson.

Rachel Carson was a conservationist and marine biologist born in Pennsylvania, USA, in 1907. She is most well known for her 1962 book ‘Silent Spring’ which documented the environmental harm caused by a type of pesticide used by soldiers in World War 2. Rachel Carson fought against the chemical industry, and accused them of spreading disinformation, and public officials of accepting the industry’s marketing claims unquestioningly.  

In the late 1950’s she began to work on environmental conservation, investigating the devastating impact that some pesticides were having on wildlife, ecology and human health. The ground-breaking science revealed in her book ‘Silent Spring’ in 1962 contributed to the ban on DDT (a type of pesticide which was dangerous to wildlife, especially birds), stronger regulations for pesticide registration, and eventually led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is also frequently credited as being the beginning of widespread environmentalism and in 1980, Rachel Carson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously.  

It is worth noting that Rachel Carson never confirmed her sexuality, she was living in a time when homosexuality was illegal in the U.S (it was only legalised in all US states in 2003). She did however, exchange around 900 letters with a woman called Dorothy Freeman that allude to a romantic relationship. On her deathbed Rachel wrote Dorothy one final letter that ended "Never forget, dear one, how deeply I have loved you all these years." 

Rachel Carson’s courage and passion for the environment is a brilliant example of what one environmentalist can achieve. Happy LGBT+ History Month! 

To learn more about Rachel Carson and her work follow this link and to find out more about LGBT+ History Month visit this website for more information.