Drag queen Pattie Gonia is making outside areas extra inclusive


queer activist Pattie Gonia (the drag persona of Wyn Wiley), is committed to both the environment and making outdoor recreation feel welcome to all. She combines those passions in unique (and often hilarious) ways, and we can’t stop admiring her work.

Pattie is an environmentalist who uses her platform to highlight issues surrounding climate change and outdoor inclusion. “From a queer perspective, I was taught that nature is a place for toxic masculinity and that I’m actually unnatural,” she said in an interview with Vogue UK. “It’s so important that we continue to break down barriers for marginalized people to go outside.”

Pattie Gonia with climbers Jordan Cannon and Alex Honnold Photo: Samuel Crossley

The fantastically dressed Pattie (along with the help of some sponsors) recently hosted a 14 day backpacking and trail crew course with 10 fully funded scholarships for LGBTQ2IA+ people aged 21-35. Grants completely removed financial barriers to queer participation, including travel expenses and almost unheard-of reimbursement for lost income.

In 2021, the activist launched a job board to help queer people find work in the environmental and outdoor industries. To date, 2,448 people have posted their information to the board, 1,568 positions have been advertised by top outdoor brands and nonprofits, and 1,171 of the positions listed on the board have been filled.

Pattie Gonia2Photo: Samuel Crossley

Alongside her projects that highlight environmental protection and the importance of everyone feeling safe outdoors, Pattie uses her platform to share sustainability tips and has teamed up with other champions of nature like climbers Jordan cannon and Alex Honnold. “I go outside to create art and embrace nature. That’s why I like doing drag outdoors; it’s art,” she says.

Pattie’s amazing outdoor attire and sense of humor are conveyed throughout her posts, but she brings valuable awareness to some serious causes, including bullying of queer youth. She doesn’t just highlight these issues — Pattie shares how you can take action.

After a social media post led to the activist being attacked online, she confronted the issue on Instagram, sharing: “Following me doesn’t make you an ally. What makes you an ally is when you realize you have access to people we could never reach in your families, churches and communities, and then make your voice heard for queer people who need it. You have nothing but an opportunity. What are you going to do with it? Do you speak. take action. Our queer youth need you.”

With her spot-on environmental tips, bold beauty, and scathing wit, we can’t wait to see what Pattie’s next project will be.

If you’re interested in checking out Pattie’s job board and learning more about her activism, head here.

BONUS: Everything to Lose includes a spoken word poem by Pattie Gonia that encourages people to reflect on the impact of their actions on Mother Nature (or as Pattie puts it, “Mother Natch”).