PHOTO GALLERY: Queer On The Outside

Welcome to Queer IRL, a monthly Autostraddle community photo series that gathers little clips of lesbian, bisexual, queer and otherwise-identified women, trans and non-binary folks, just living our lives in 2017.

Funny story about this gallery! For the entire month of April, I’d look at my inbox and think, “Wow, nothing. They’re not sending anything!” and I even complained to Heather Hogan about it.

How could this be? So many people had specifically requested an outdoor theme for the next gallery! The weather was gorgeous! I put off even starting to upload and format the gallery, because what was the rush? It would take less than half an hour to put together the 15 or so emails I remembered seeing here and there in my inbox. I was so sad. What had gone wrong?

I’ll tell you what: nothing.

See, I’d so cleverly set up a filter for emails with the subject line QUEER OUTSIDE , making each email bypass my inbox and go straight to handy folder, where they sat, unread. All 176 of them. Sometimes it does not pay to be organized!

Anyway, wow, you guys really love the outdoors! I’ve never in my life felt so inspired to hike to the top of something. You’re taking up space and pushing yourself and supporting each other and laughing and eating snacks and hugging chickens and goats. You’re being super alive out there! I’m so grateful to everyone who submitted to this gallery, and I hope you enjoy roaming through over 200 photos of your extended queer family!

Riley and Alex Santangelo / 27, 25 / Graphic designer; Nanny / Asbury Park Boardwalk, NJ

“My wife and I decided to do an impromptu bridal shower invitation photo shoot against the murals at Asbury Park Boardwalk in NJ. This picture is an outtake from the session (but it ended up being my favorite <3).”

Kai / 22 / Student, Peace Corps Volunteer (in 2 months!!!!) / Ireland

“In this photo I’m on a backpacking trip in Ireland! It was really cold, but I got to climb a tiny mountain and it was the best.”

Marissa / 29 / Journalist / Paradise Valley, MT

“I’m fly fishing on the Yellowstone River in February. I love fishing in the winter because fewer people do it. Plus, you feel a little badass for standing in the cold water (protected by waders and warm layers). The Yellowstone the longest undammed river in the contiguous US and one of my favorite rivers.”

Lauren / 29 / PhD Student and TA in Gender and Women’s Studies / Asilah, Morocco

“I was studying Arabic in Morocco when I came upon this amazing rainbow mural. It was the gayest thing I saw during my entire trip, so of course I made my friends take excessive pictures of me in front of it.”

Elena Zamarripa (they·them) / 24 / Beer Steward, Barista, KitchenBitch / Whatcom Falls, Bellingham, WA

“My friend snapped this disposable camera shot of me feeling the water in my future hometown. I’d already planned to move there in two years but was apprehensive until I met the falls.”

Julia H / 18 / Student / Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, AK

“Here’s a candid of me looking as sad as I felt on the inside about hiking in this gorgeous place. I made the questionable decision to have my first-ever backpacking experience be a month off-trail in Alaska…”

Analicia Hawkins (she·her), Aryn Maitland (they·them) / 23, 25 / Events Associate; Job Developer / Mount Tamalpais State Park, CA

“My partner and I went on a hike in this lovely state park just outside of San Francisco. I had just gotten my car broken into and my suitcase stolen, but this was a great stress reliever and a really cute first date!”

Ella / 18 / Student / CO

“In the backyard with the family I nanny for in Colorado.”

Anoma and Robin Stoiber / Late 30s / Police Dispatcher; Officer / Milwaukee, WI

“Taken last year at Milwaukee’s annual Pride fest.”

Annie (and Lily) / 25 / Furniture Repair Extraordinaire (Faithful Pit Bull) / Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Asheville, NC

“I love hiking every chance I get, and am lucky enough to live in beautiful Asheville, NC where I can make it a reality. Lily is a rescue from the streets of Philly who’s been by my side for two years now. Her happiness in the outdoors and away from city bustle, is pretty obvious from the big grin in this picture! We’ve hiked together all over the US and Canada, and are on track for our goal of hiking 100 miles in 2017.”

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18See entire article on one page

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lnj has written 310 articles for us.


  1. I love this!

    The other galleries were great, but fed my “Oh, no, no one else has a rustic farm meets country château aesthetic—I’m not queer enough!” anxieties. This one, though… I have a garden and grow stuff, I hike, I run, I bike, I visit parks and beaches and stand around in rivers!

    Also, you’re all too darned cute. The couples pictures slayed me.

  2. Everyone looks AMAZING

    And I have like other 50 llama pics if you want, just say the word.

    • Sorry, Alice, but I have to ask. Did you get spat by a llama?

      By the way, one thing stuck in my head, and I heard this while travelling on Northern Argentina, is that female llamas spit on males when she’s not interested in his advances.

      • Nope, fortunately not. I have to say though that we only got close to those we found in ‘touristy’ places (so they’re probably used to people being around them), we kept our distance with the ‘wild’ ones cause you never know :)

        A girl I met when I was there told me that thing and I was like SAME.

  3. Diane who biked from Tijuana to BC, if you’re willing pls pm me about how you planned your bike camp trip. Practical stuff like gear, budget, route, fitness + safety. Thanks!

  4. When I saw how many pages there were to this, I thought it would take an age to get through them all, but now I never want them to end…

  5. Aww these are all so awesome! <3

    And I love that my submission and my bff's submission are one after the other :)

  6. I’m from Asheville. I have been all over the Blue Ridge Parkway. That’s where I learned how to drive. My parents would take us to the Parkway and let us drive. I loved living there because there were so many beautiful places to go for a day or more. I have hiked and camped all over the Parkway and Pisgah National Forest with my Springers. Now I live in Winston Salem and go up to Pilot Mountain for day hikes. There were many pictures where I thought “I want to go there”. These are wonderful.

  7. so i’m okay with saying i know all the queers who’ve been outside. they have good outsides, the best ever

  8. I guess the ones I sent in weren’t HQ enough? Just my luck for trying to use my instax mini for this
    Unless I skipped a page
    Oh Well

    • ( @green I know ur busy and I’m sorry to bug you but I want my pics to make future galleries; what would the reasons be for a photo collage to not make it in & how can I avoid this fate in May?)

  9. I’ll have to get a better picture for the next gallery because man I don’t even look like myself in mine!

  10. I’m in my tent at the 96 mile mark on the PCT and I just looked through every photo and they brought me so much joy. Love you guys. <3

    • VANESSA I live in wrightwood! Literally on the pct. My housemates and I hosted 8 hikers over this past weekend. Hit me up with a pm!! We’all have a shower and laundry for you. <3

      (ps my pic in this gallery is like 4/5ths of the way down, Nina Vuoso outdoor educator in hotsprings :))

  11. I love and appreciate all you babes so much! Also ~Canadian queers~ I love how you all showed up!!!!!!!!! anyone wanting a hiking buddy I’m all around alberta and BC this summer so get at me

  12. Oh Emily of Saskatoon, this made me tear up:

    “These transitions have been much needed, soul filling, confusing, frustrating, wonderful and exhausting, and have had me deeply questioning what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, but last night the northern lights were so vibrant, dancing magnificently above as we walked by the river, and they told me I am exactly where I need to be.”

    I love and admire you so very much!

  13. One of my college roommates is from Vacaville and always said it was an alright city. Didn’t know it looks that beautiful and vibrant.

    Yay, I’m Autostraddle!

  14. It did not occur to me that I could send a photo from any time… all this month I’ve been like ‘it is gross outside. i will not be queer outside. only inside.’

  15. I’m sorry my queer outdoor photo didn’t make it into the gallery. I might post it here later.

    Theme suggestions:
    Queers at Work
    Queers with pets
    Queers on the move (bikes, buses, cars, unicycles)

  16. Deborah at the Shire! Sir Bud looking magnificent! Emily at a glacier! Vanessa on the PCT! Really, just everybody. Yay.

  17. Queer femme botanists!! In the Columbia Gorge! I am one of those! That’s where I am!!! Sofia if you see this I would love to botanize with y’all, I’ll bring fresh bread :’)

    • This gallery posted waaaaay more queer botanists and arborists than I would ever have anticipated!

  18. Michael in Toronto, if you’re reading this: I’d like to read more about your opinion on Basic Income! Where could I find it?

    • The Rural Dykes of America make me so happy! Seeing rural Wisconsin represented in the last TWO galleries just makes my heart sing! So much love for my fellow committed rural-dwelling Midwesterners!

  19. you’re all so beautiful in the great outdoors! i’m very inspired to do a shit-ton of hiking/camping/gardening/other activities in dirt this summer.
    also: Rural Dykes of America sounds like the greatest thing in the world and i’m suddenly really bummed that i don’t live in southern wisconsin.


    I love Iceland but didn’t get the chance to hike while I was there and am now even more determined to go back.

  21. Wow, we really love National Parks! Also, I’m moving to Northern California next year. Does anyone have some hiking trail recommendations for Santa Clara County and/or San Mateo County?

  22. Shout out to the ‘Strayans who submitted their gorg photos – wootwoot! :)
    And hopefully next time more photos from Asia / the Philippines!
    Thanks for putting this together, Laneia! Will there be another batch?? :)

    • Oh and thanks for including my photos! I finally made it in an Autostraddle photo gallery! :D #DayMade #LifeMade!!!

  23. Awww man the couples pictures. In my head a picture had to be super recent and my girl is currently 3,000 miles away, but we have some awesome pictures of us being hella gay outdoors when she’s visited. Whoops.

  24. So many cool people doing cool things!
    Also, so many people in Scotland!!! Where were you all when I still lived there, haha

  25. Hey Diana on Page 4, I live walking distance from that beer garden and was just there last weekend! I’ll definitely be there more often over the summer, so keep an eye out for purple hair – or just DM me, whichever’s easier.

  26. Rural Dykes of America sounds so wonderful and something that I wish I could be a part of.

  27. This gallery makes me want to go hiking and find other queer people in the wild! And it made me miss beautiful Britain. I forget how nice the countryside is back home. But I’m living in the Basque Country at the moment, and it’s pretty gorgeous here too.

  28. Laneia! This is my favourite Queer IRL so far! (And not just because my doggo and I are featured in it). I LOVE IT.

  29. Kerri, you are living the life of my dreams – Scottish graveyard catspotting.

    • It’s true – in that moment, the stars were 100% aligned!

      (A backstory: on that trip, I accidentally miscommunicated with the neighbors looking after my own cat, and the poor guy didn’t eat for three days. I was an absolute wreck about it, even though the neighbors rushed over and found that he was cranky but fine. Scottish graveyard cat was like a soothing feline balm for my frazzled heart!)

  30. Woohoo, I am glad that I could be the lucky one to represent Connecticut in this album! (Also happy I am not the ONLY person to not have myself in my picture!)

    • I grew up in Connecticut and was so happy to see a place next door from my hometown!

  31. Well these are all just dandy! What an awesome collection of photos reflecting the diversity of our queer world.

    Although I can’t help but notice that I am the official ‘eldergay’ #42goingon24 ?

  32. Well these are all just dandy! What an awesome collection of photos reflecting the diversity of our queer world.

    Although I can’t help but notice that I am the official ‘eldergay’ #42goingon24 ?

  33. Yay, hello from Slovakia to folks from Czech republic and Hungary! :-)
    Unfortunately I missed this call for photos, I love hiking and biking and being outside.
    Everybody is visiting such beautiful places. I really liked this gallery.

  34. Hi there, I was wondering if my photos could be removed from this gallery? I know I submitted them myself but I gave my full name and now they come up when you search my name on Google which, unfortunately, is not professionally wise for me :( Please let me know!

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