Week #2

For lovers of nature and justice

Hello forest folk, this week we have all the news you’ll need to have important conversations with your fellow adventurers and squirrels alike!

Photo courtesy of @pattiegonia on Instagram

Meet Pattie Gonia, the Backpacking Drag Queen Promoting Inclusivity in the Outdoors

Run-Through:

This article by Jenny McCoy in Self Magazine details the story of how Wyn Wiley’s drag persona Pattie Gonia became an influencer on Instagram. Pattie Gonia (she/her) is known for backpacking in heels, transforming Eno hammocks into dresses and fanny packs into bras. Wyn (he/him), an avid outdoors-person, wanted to broaden people’s perspectives of what it looks like to be an adventurer. Aside from the fun pictures, Pattie’s main goal is to use her platform and privilege to make the outdoors more inclusive for all. She works with organizations like Unlikely Hikers and refuses to take any money unless it goes straight to an organization that supports the LGBTQ+ community. 

On review:

  • Since this article, with the help of followers, Wyn and Pattie have become far more educated. They have begun practices such as profiling other adventures from marginalized communities as well as writing under each Instagram photo what Native land the photo was taken on.

  • This article was posted in December of 2018 so it should be noted that @pattiegonia now has 179k followers on Instagram. 

Photo courtesy of @latinooutdoors on Instagram

Latino Outdoors Doesn’t Want to Be Extreme

Run-Through:

Andy Cochrane of Outside Magazine writes about the organization Latino Outdoors and their goal of simply getting Latinx families outside, no matter if that means playing in a local park or camping in a national park. The founder José González and the Executive Director Luis Villa say that no matter how big the group gets (it has bases in 19 different areas around the states) they will always stay true to their belief that it is not what you do in nature but the time you spend there. Volunteer Coordinator Jorge Moreno said, “Most of the outdoor industry likes to say that newcomers need formal training on how to go camping, but it’s not true.”

On review: 

  • There are few to none POC writers at Outside which causes many pieces such as this one to be written by white males. It might have been a more conscious article if it was written by a Latinx person. 

Photo of Nikki Smith courtesy of REI

LGBTQ+ Adventurers, In Their Own Words

Run-Through:

Aer Parris organized this collection of stories about LGBTQ+ adventurers for the REI Co-Op Journal. Among the 30+ outdoors-people featured are Jenny Bruso, Nikki Smith, and Pınar Ateş Sinopoulos-Lloyd. Jenny Bruso, founder of Unlikely Hikers, says she identifies as a queer, fat, femme, and is a hiker, kayaker, and climber, among other things. Nikki Smith, a professional photographer, says she identifies as “a woman who happens to be queer and transgender.” Smith loves backpacking, biking, climbing, and more. Smith said, “as a white, cisgender, and heterosexual society, we regularly hear that the outdoors are for everyone. I used to think the same. Now, since I came out as trans, I find these amazing places a little more difficult.” Pınar Ateş Sinopoulos-Lloyd, @queernature on Instagram, identifies as a queer, trans, Huanca, Turkish + Chinese, disabled indigenous futurist and ecophilosopher “whose culturally rooted gender identity is Quariwarmi.” They spend their time tracking, canoeing, and making fires by friction.

On review:

  • This article was strong because it is essentially written by its featured subjects. Their voices were untainted by a secondary person’s (a journalist) explanation.

  • There are many intersecting identities represented, as opposed to simply cis, white, gay males

  • These adventurer’s words successfully highlighted the inequity that still lives in the outdoor world