The Second Annual LGBTQ Outdoor Summit: A Magic Alternate Reality Where Everyone in the Outdoors is Queer

all photos by Carrot Quinn

“In the future, what do you want to see more of in the intersection between marginalized communities and the outdoors community?”


Hablo, they/he


“I would like to see more discussion about the intersections between queerness and disability – discussion about ability, medication, signage and lighting, for example, as well as discussion around trauma as it relates to indigeneity, people of color, and land history.”


Zach, he/him // Jeremy, he/him // Mariah, she/her // Heather, she/her // Marisa, she/her // Mitchelle, she/her // Ryan, he/him

Clockwise from top left: Zach, Jeremy, Mariah, Heather, Marisa, Mitchelle, Ryan

“I would like to see queer folks welcomed as part of outdoor recreation advocacy for our clean waters and public lands.” – Zach, NWF

“I want marginalized people to feel more welcome in outdoor spaces.” – Jeremy, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

“I also want marginalized people to feel more welcome in outdoor spaces.” – Mariah, NWF

“I’d like to see less of a need for this conversation to happen.” – Heather, NWF

“I’d like to see more agency and representation across ages and ethnicity.” – Marisa, NWF

“I’d like to see more synergy and celebration of the successes of marginalized communities in the outdoors.” – Mitchelle, NWF

“I want marginalized people to feel more welcome in outdoor spaces.” – Ryan, NWF


Kerry, she/her, Nature Bridge


“I would love to see queer and non-queer communities connect more in the space in which we all belong: the outdoors.”


Enrrique, he/him, Berea College


“I’d like to see more culturally competent programs that meet people where they’re at in terms of connecting with nature.”


Jaque, she/her // Cassie, she/her

L-R: Jaque and Cassie

“I would like to see more opportunity for marginalized communities.” – Jaque, Mesa Rim Climbing Center

“I would like to see people dismantling the narrative of what the ‘outdoors’ is; how we are supposed to enjoy the outdoors, what gear you need to be in the outdoors, etc.” – Cassie, she/her, @latinooutdoors


Jenny, she/her


“I would like to see less excuses! I’ve been in many talks and workshops about what we want from the outdoor industry and there are always so many excuses about why things can’t be done or why they’ll take a few years to implement. Like clothing and shoe sizes that fit fat and/or trans bodies, diverse imagery on ads and social media, etc. We’re living in fast times with social media and We Talk. The brands need to find ways to move quicker to keep up with us. A decision not to, is a decision to exclude us.” – Jenny, @unlikelyhikers


Tilly, she/her // Patrick, he/him

L-R: Tilly and Patrick

“I would like to see marginalized communities supporting each other.” – Tilly, yoga teacher

“I want to see more willingness and openness of the heteronormative outdoors industry to be in conversation around these issues.” – Patrick, wilderness therapy instructor


Kaya, she/they // Julia, she/her // G, they/them

L-R: Kaya, Julia, G

“In one word: access.” – Kaya

“In one word: space.” – Julia

“In one word: safety.” – G


Janet, she/her


“I would like a place and platform to celebrate.” – Janet, SCA


Caleb, he/they // B, they/them

L-R: Caleb and B

“I want to see more representation. I want to see people like me doing the things I do, and I want to be that person for other people. And I want to see accessibility for my community be more prominent in the conversation.” – Caleb, University of Vermont

“My hope is that in the future, people and orgs in the outdoor industry actively invite and include people that have been historically excluded from the outdoorsy community. I want tangible and visible changes to the industry that reflect the actual population of the US and not just a privileged, white upper class few.” – B, Education Outside


Deb, she/her


“I would like to see more accessible spaces and more representation in the outdoors.” – Deb, #curvykilicrew


Jacky, she/her // Kendall, she/her // Kylie, she/her

L-R: Jenny, Jacky, Hablo, Kendall, Kylie, Deb

“For me personally, I would love to see everyone feeling safe when they interact with the outdoors.” – Jacky, Bureau of Land Management

“We would like to see more representation of body types and ability in media and on the trails.” – Kendall and Kylie, We Hike California


Christina, she/her


“I’d like to see more representation. As a queer fat femme Latina immigrant, I don’t ever see myself represented in the outdoors space, even though I’ve spent my whole life in it, and I’m sure there are others like me.” – Christina, NRDC


Brod, they/them


“I would like to see the wider outdoors community take responsibility for the way they take up space in the outdoors, so that they might leave room for marginalized communities to take up space as well.” – Brod, LGBTQ Youth Educator


Oshie, she/her // Karina, she/her

L-R: Oshie and Karina

“We want to see the normalization of queerness in the outdoors community.” – Oshie, future PCT hiker and Karina, partner to Oshie and avid outdoorsperson


Mel, they/them // Kate, they/them/she/her

L-R: Mel and Kate

“I would like us to keep finding each other, and finding new ways to hold space for each other.” – Mel, Northwest Youth Core

“I would like to see education in the non marginalized outdoors community; they have a lot of homework to do re: how to include marginalized communities, and it’s on them to do that work.” – Kate, Mesa Rim Climbing Center


Kaci, they/them


“I would like to see the outdoors community embracing different ways of being outside that reflect and invite all of the different ways of being human.” – Kaci, Washington Trails Association


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Carrot Quinn is a writer, photographer, long distance hiker and anti-fascist. You can find more of her work at instagram.com/carrotquinn and carrotquinn.com.

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12 Comments

  1. Ah man I wish I had known about this, I’ve just been rotting in my parent’s basement feeling profoundly lonely. I finished my second thruhike this September and had a bad time – I got stalked from wrightwood to silver pass and I’m still reckoning with how badly that affected my hike.

    I only have one other queer outdoorsy pal irl and we both talk about how disconnected our queer identities feel from our true homes in the wild – I can’t imagine how healing it would be to able to process my experiences in a whole crowd of queer outdoorfolk. I liked Vanessa’s article that came out here about pct culture and misogyny and I agreed with most of it, but the ribbing and jokes about fashionably hating on the pct that came after it made me feel so isolated. Like,the two most important parts of myself are apparently incompatible? mom and dad are fighting, oh no! It’s good to know I’m not alone out there. Maybe I’ll make it next year

  2. Yes!! Just absolutely completely yes to everything here. I am so glad that this alternate universe outdoor world exists and I am so excited about all the amazing queer and marginalized people who are working to make the real world more like this all the time.

  3. Carrot your photos are amazing! Your vivid descriptions gave me chills and brought me right back into that beautiful heartspace.
    Thank you for capturing so many of the emotions and the importance of this powerful experience!

  4. Thank you for this! I wish I could have gone there. Or that there could be a British version.

    Something I’ve noticed is that the places I go walking, most of the people I meet are much older. Which is fine, most of them are friendly, though I do get a few looks as if to say “what’s a lesbian your age doing here?” It just makes me feel a bit out of place, especially as the people nearer my ages tend to be m/f couples. So I’d love to see more to get younger people involved in the outdoors and more women and queer people.

    There’s been a lot of talk recently about the need to be out in nature and the positive impact that has on our mental health so I’d absolutely love to see queer groups that meet in outdoor places as an alternative to bars and clubs and have spaces welcome that.

  5. Al

    Wow, this is amazing. I wish I knew about this because I would have loved to participate. Plus, to see visibly trans and queer people who like to hike is just great because I’m usually the visible one on my solo hikes. Thank you!

  6. i was in ft cronkhite a couple weeks ago when i visited some friends in the bay, and it was so much fun to see some other perspective on the space. it’s so pretty!

  7. This is such a great article! Love the pictures as well! I’ve always loved be outdoors. I always feel re-centered after a walk. Even if there are times I don’t feel like I belong, I still try to get in the outdoors.

  8. lsh

    Great piece.
    I’m spending more and more time in a tent, in woods or fields where I can find them – and too much time being afraid not of the dark, nor the wildlife or the cold, but of toxic men that could decide to mess it up. Out there I’m not queer – I’m a feminine solo wanderer, and the codes are way different.
    Carrot, I’ve been reading you for years – and your experiences are a very real inspiration and comfort whenever I walk out to the woods. Thank you.

  9. So glad you got to do this!!! https://www.queernature.org/what-we-do is an amazing project as well, oriented to following the leadership of and restoring sovereignty to indigenous people, and their trainings are trauma-informed. They do amazing work reclaiming queer, esp queer black and indigenous people’s relationship with land and the queerness of nature. I learned about them from Autumn Brown’s amazing conversation with them here, cannot recommend more highly!! https://www.endoftheworldshow.org/blog/2020/5/6/apocalypse-survival-skill-5-tactical-hope

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