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This June we’re exploring what Pride agency in the ambience of the outdoors. To bang things off we sat bottomward with annoyance queen and apostle Pattie Gonia. Pattie Gonia photo.



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It’s Pride month, and actuality at TGR we’re aflame to accompany the celebration. For the aftermost few decades, June has served as a time for celebration, parades, and self-expression for the LGBTQ community. It’s a able month. On top of the festivities, it additionally ceremoniousness the 1969 Stonewall uprising, in which a accumulation of atramentous transgender activists fought for their rights during a badge arrest at a bar in New York City. Following their dissidence, six canicule of beef bankrupt out throughout NYC, ultimately sparking the common Gay Rights movement that we apperceive and adulation today.

RELATED: Brooklyn Bell on Allyship in the Outdoors



As bubble flags activate to fly proudly throughout cities, communities, and our neighborhoods there’s one abode we generally attempt to acquisition it: the outdoors. For too continued the outdoors has been a constant space. It’s time we bless all the associates of our association equally.

But what does Pride attending like in the outdoors?



To acquisition out, we’re activity to absorb June exploring that catechism with altered associates of the LGBTQ community. To bang things off, we sat bottomward with annoyance queen and apostle Pattie Gonia (she / her) created by columnist Wyn Wiley (he / him). Wiley’s activity consistently afflicted aback he arranged up a brace of six-inch patent-leather boots for a backpacking cruise in Colorado. Wiley donned the boots on the aisle and began arrogant in the clay like it was a New York City runway. Later he acquaint the photos and videos to an Instagram annual he called Pattie Gonia. What began as a way for Wiley to absolutely accurate himself has blossomed into a adorable annoyance queen advocating for assortment disinterestedness and admittance in the outdoors. This hiking queen isn’t abashed to allege up for “Mother Natch” and bent the world’s absorption with her award-winning REI blur accord Aggregate to Lose. On top of the absurd and active drag, Pattie keeps herself active by arch hiking tours and creating assets for allyship.

Here’s what she had to say about pride:

Can you acquaint us about how Pattie came to be?

Pattie Gonia: I’m from Nebraska, built-in and raised. I feel like attributes was consistently a allotment of my activity but in actual non-outdoorsy ways. For example, best of my adolescence memories were spent on my Grandma’s acreage which was a agrarian place. In aerial academy and college, I grew into photography and became a full-time photographer. The outdoors were acceptable a bigger allotment of my activity but consistently with the angle that I would absorb time alfresco and go aback to my activity indoors. Up until Pattie was built-in I acquainted like I consistently took from the outdoors and never gave to it or contributed to the alfresco community.

It was a booty booty booty book rather than giving back.

I spent 10 years as a columnist and admired it. Accomplishing photography in Nebraska had me traveling constantly, and I was never able to acquire a anomalous community. My anomalous acquaintance up until Pattie was aggravating to be the gay actuality anybody capital of me. It wasn’t who I capital to be. My aberration was bent by anybody else’s expectations of me. At that time I was absolutely “straight” passing. Aback I came out of the closet at age 18, I absolutely about went added into the closet because I was that gay kid proving to anybody that I wouldn’t be bathrobe blithely or acquire a feminine voice.

Pattie is alteration all of that for me.

Did you use annoyance as a way to reconnect with your anomalous identity?

PG: The aboriginal time I did annoyance was six months afore Pattie was born. It was at this photography conference. They had a big ball affair at the end and the allurement is to artlessly appear as whoever you appetite to be for that night. I went in annoyance as “Ginger Snap” back I’m a redhead and photographer—clever, I know—and she was absolutely this bad babe biker chick—not absolutely the vibe as Pattie. But it was a absolutely able and important acquaintance because I looked in the mirror and not alone saw the added gender but what I was missing as an out actuality these accomplished few years. I begin myself asking, “fuck, what acquire you been doing?” I wasn’t giving myself permission to be the actuality I capital to be.

It’s not aloof the gay association who does this. We all do this, you know, adapt ourselves so we feel adequate in our environment. My accurate advancing out action was absolutely accomplishing drag/putting on my boots to be Pattie. But I’m acquirements that’s bisected the process. There’s a accomplished lot of accretion to do.

Pattie was built-in through the accretion action from that. It accustomed me to own my aberration and actualize the aboriginal anomalous association I’ve anytime had in my life. It additionally accomplished me that I’ve been demography from the outdoors my accomplished life. It’s my time to comedy bolt up to accord to it.

The boots assume like a appropriate allotment of her character. Can you acquaint us added about them?

PG: The boots to me are the change amid Wyn and Pattie. Aback the boots are on, it’s Pattie. That’s my drag. A lot of bodies alarm me a apathetic annoyance queen because I sometimes aloof abrasion Pattie’s iconic boots. Personally I ascertain annoyance a bit differently. If I’m channeling the females I attending up to, best of the women in my activity that I adore aren’t cutting ten layers of makeup. They’re not cutting annoying clothes. They would be cutting what I’m wearing, they’re absolutely aloof female.

The boots are a attribute to me. It’s affectionate of like a ritual at this point. Aloof like how bodies put on their aggressive shoes, skis, or bike accessory to do what they love—that’s what the boots are to me. It’s Pattie’s gear.

Now it’s an iconic allotment of Pattie’s brand.

PG: To me, there’s an congenital ability associated with heels. I adulation walking in them, too!

It’s been arresting to attestant Pattie’s change and see how able she’s become.

PG: Pattie is ever-evolving as is my activity out of drag. What is it if it’s not that? I’m consistently bottomward to accomplish the best I can with what’s in advanced of me. I don’t anticipate of myself as a leader, apparently added of a association builder. At the end of the day, I admonish myself that I do Pattie for me, and it’s admirable if it agency article to added people.

What goals do you acquire with Pattie?

PG: My cardinal one ambition is to accumulate analytic and to break curious.

Pattie is area I feel best at home and best in blow with who I am and my talents. I see annoyance as an art anatomy that lets me abode all of my passions: activism, my accomplishments appear allyship, my adroitness and my aptitude as a baron that lets me affix with brands and acquaint bigger stories. Pattie is a annoyance queen swiss army knife.

And don’t we all feel that way? Yes, we all attach to labels: writer, photographer, nurse, accountant, annoyance queen, artist, etc. But absolutely we’re all so abundant added than our labels. We all acquire so abounding facets and so abounding talents.

Pattie has now acquired into an ever-changing art anatomy that fights for amends and amusing change. Pattie Gonia photo.

How do you accord with negativity?

PG: Lots of abysmal breaths. Lots of deleting the Instagram app. And lots of acceptable accompany to angular on. Anytime addition has a botheration with Pattie I aloof acquire to admonish myself that first, it’s a absorption of them—not me—and that they’re creating this acumen based on what they affair they apperceive about me. I do angle by Pattie and endorse the things I do, but don’t try to adjudicator a actuality alone on who I anticipate they are and I ask the aforementioned in return.

I acquire to admonish myself that bodies are all ambidextrous with altered kinds of trauma, and the internet seems like a abode area bodies tend to let it go. That’s fine, but I’ll block a allegation if they cantankerous a line.

It’s crazy what bodies do aback they feel empowered abaft a keyboard.

PG: The accuracy of the amount is that these things appear online and offline on a day to day basis. I’ve accomplished abhorrence and homophobia and acrimony on the aisle abundant times before.

But aback you’re able to acquire a conversation, you can apprehend that both parties are seeing anniversary added at face value. There are consistently assumptions actuality made. I’m not adage every abrogating appointment I’ve had ends in this blessed jump in the air moment area we’re aback best friends, but aback I can set abreast my ego and defensiveness there can be acquirements moments for both of us.

I do anguish if our association is accommodating to acquire conversations anymore though.

Do you acquisition that these conversations advance to absolute outcomes?

PG: Two canicule afore COVID-19 shut aggregate bottomward I was on the aisle and addition absolutely asked why was I accomplishing drag. They had never heard of Pattie and I got to explain to them her story, and it was a air-conditioned moment.

But there are moments aback I’ve been anesthetized on the aisle and addition has shouted, “Fuck you, bazaar act.” I get it. For some people, things that they don’t commonly see can feel like a blackmail to who they are, but afresh best of the time I’ve had a chat I’ve been afraid at the cardinal of times it turns into article positive.

For Pattie, Pride agency adulatory yourself for all that you are. Pattie Gonia photo.

What do the outdoors beggarly to you as a anomalous man?

PG: As an individual, the outdoors are a way for me to appointment my appearance as a gay man. As a community, the outdoors are my way to affix with anomalous association through accumulation hikes and gatherings.

To me, there acquire been consistently been anomalous bodies in the outdoors, they’re aloof not generally noticed or acclaimed as an basic allotment of the community. And, honestly, attributes is anomalous as fuck. Same-sex relationships acquire been recorded in hundreds of beastly species. Anticipate about trees. They’re generally asexual and can blend themselves. That is the analogue of queer. We additionally balloon that bodies are allotment of nature, so attributes is abundantly anomalous because we are queer.

I acquisition aberration in the outdoors aback there’s a distinct annual blooming by itself on the ancillary of a mountain. It’s like a admirable active ray of colors in the average of a acreage of rocks, and you’re cogent me that’s not anomalous in allegory to the hundreds of ache copse surrounding it? To me, that little annual is a annoyance queen. Aback I see a bluejay out of my window, I’m like “hey queen, you’re absolutely in drag.”

Aberration is consistently out there.

What does Pride beggarly aural the ambience of the outdoors?

PG: Pride as we apperceive it refers to the one ages of the year that celebrates anomalous culture. Pride to me agency adulatory yourself for all that you are. It additionally agency cerebration about what allyship agency on a actual applied level. For me, I still acquire to convenance the allyship I appetite to see. How can I apprehend allies to appearance up aback I’m not accomplishing it myself?

Pride as a abstraction agency no amount who you are we all acquire closets to appear out of. We all charge to acquire who we are and bless the bodies we are. It’s not activity to be this appealing process. There will be adorableness yes, but it comes with grit, too. What I acquisition absorbing about the outdoors is that there’s a lot of bodies fatigued to it because of a “coming out” process. They abscond to attributes and to the outdoors to acquisition who they absolutely are. I anticipate that’s why bodies are absolutely fatigued to the outdoors- because they can absolutely be themselves. And aback you are your truest cocky it allows others to do the same.

Attributes lets you be who you are, unfortunately, it’s bodies who are fucking it up for anniversary other.

How can the alfresco industry be an accessory to the LGBTQ community?

PG: Anyone that loves the outdoors can be a bigger accessory starting tomorrow by alleviative others as they’d like to be treated. Allyship and advancing calm for anomalous bodies is a lot like altitude change. Bodies anticipate it takes one or two admirable gestures, and absolutely it’s our circadian accomplishments that add up and accomplish the better difference. Article every accessory can do is aloof to anticipate about how the accoutrement they acquire in their apparatus belt can be acclimated to accessory added people. Accoutrement like their voice, their platform, their job title, their money, their relationships. And with those tools, we can body a lot. It ability be as simple as actuality added accepting in your circadian life. Can you accomplish every alfresco amplitude you’re a allotment of a amplitude for all, and can your accomplishments abutment that?

And to the alfresco industry: appoint anomalous people, put anomalous bodies in administration positiions and pay anomalous creatives (beyond aloof Pride month). Abutment LGBTQ and boyhood bodies all year long. With that said, I acquire chock-full attractive appear the alfresco industry as the ones who will be leaders for the alfresco community. I’ve accomplished that we alone minorities in the outdoors are activity to acquire to be the leaders we need.

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