Queering disasters: On the need to account for LGBTI experiences in natural disaster contexts
This article seeks a queering of research and policy in relation to natural disasters, their human impacts, management and response. The human impacts of natural disasters vary across different social groups. We contend that one group largely absent from scholarly and policy agendas is sexual and gender minorities, or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) populations. To demonstrate that these minorities have particular experiences that need to be addressed, we critically review five case studies that comprise the limited scholarly and policy research on LGBTI populations in disasters to date. Building on this, we offer some specific ways forward for queer disaster research that accounts for the vulnerabilities, needs and resilient capacities of LGBTI populations. In doing so, we recognise and urge researchers, policy-makers and aid agencies to acknowledge that LGBTI populations are not homogeneous and have different needs wrought by intersections of socio-economic resources, gender, race/ethnicity, age and regional or national location.