Today’s Solutions: May 20, 2024

The climate movement could use all the help it can get, and environmentalist drag queen Pattie Gonia is determined to make sure it can by pushing for it to be more inclusive.

Pattie uses her Instagram account, which has more than 300,000 followers, to challenge what a conventional climate activist and outdoors person look like, proving that anyone and everyone should speak up about environmental issues. Her photos feature her in and out of drag, enjoying the great outdoors, or making statement poses to raise awareness about various issues.

In one post she shares several striking photos of her posing in front of an oil rig, clad in shiny black material. The caption declares “That’s right, I said it if your money is in big banks, your money is probably being invested in industries like big oil… Take your money OUT of these banks and put it IN a safe and secure financial institution that aligns with your ethics and will never invest your money in harmful industries like this.”

Outside of Instagram, the drag queen spends her energy creating safe, inclusive communities for people who love nature and want to protect it by organizing in-person hikes and outdoor gatherings for LGBTQ+ people and allies.

When not in drag, Pattie is Wyn Wiley, a professional photographer. In an interview with Yale Climate Connections, Wiley explains that breaking free from conventional expectations of who gets to enjoy the outdoors is at the heart of Pattie Gonia’s existence. “For the longest time, the “outdoors” as we’ve known it has been weaponized against any sort of marginalized person because we’ve been told that that’s not for us, that that’s not where we find people like ourselves,” Wiley says. “Whether that’s queer people, whether that’s people of color, whether that’s disabled people… I think that if we can get outdoors if we can fall in love with nature, we’re going to advocate even better for it. Because we fight for what we love.”

Image Source: Wyn Wiley

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