Lack of representation is one of the biggest issues facing the LGBTQ+ outdoors community. Queer adventurers don’t often see themselves represented in the marketing campaigns and media narratives of mainstream brands and companies.
But here’s the good news: Queer people are out on the roads and trails doing awesome things outside every day. Here are 5 inspiring LGBTQ+ adventurers that prove it:
(Photo credit: Irene Yee / @ladylockoff)
Brie (she/her) identifies as a mom who loves the outdoors. She’s also trans and an amazing climber and climbing instructor.
“I think one of the challenges queer people face getting outside is the idea that you have to look a certain way to be outdoorsy. People are left behind and left out because of size, shape, and skin color due to elitist attitudes and economic divisions.”- Brie
(Photo courtesy of Sarah Scruggs)
Sarah (she/her) is a queer hiker and environmentalist. Expect to find a lot of great hiking content on her page!
“When I think about representation, I think about a quote from Ruth Bader Ginsburg; when asked when there will be enough women serving on the Supreme Court, she replied “until there are nine”...I think that logic can definitely be applied to representation in the outdoor industry for queer people and any other group of marginalized people.”- Sarah
(Photo courtesy of Eva Johnson)
Eva (they/she) is a queer thru-hiker raising money for queer teens to participate in Outward Bound California’s LGBTQ+ course. Follow along as they traverse some incredible landscapes.
“Queer individuals, especially those with multiple intersecting marginalized identities, have faced and continue to face varying degrees of trauma born from discrimination, hate crimes, bullying, erasure, exclusion, and systemic socio-economic disadvantages. In this way, the outdoors can be an especially powerful place of healing and empowerment for these communities.” - Eva
(Photo courtesy of Shilletha Curtis)
Shilletha (she/her) is a lesbian hiker currently thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. She documents both the highs and lows of her journey.
“I would love to see more People of Color on the trails. It’s one thing to be a woman but to be a Black Gay woman is a triple threat. Intersectionality is important...understanding the inequalities when it comes to gear, wealth, exposure and privilege is pivotal to making a difference.”- Shilletha
(Photo courtesy of Honnie + Niki)
Honnie + Niki (both she/her) are a queer couple and the creators of Happy Khamper, which seeks to provide resources and information to help minorities feel more comfortable outside.
“Safety has always been our biggest concern. Will we get injured? Will we get lost? As we travel further and further from our California Bay Area bubble, our mentality on safety shifted. As queer women of color, we now worry about our social safety.” - Honnie + Niki