The Wild Wanderer Spotlight Series highlights the stories of queer adventurers in their own words. We hope that by sharing these underrepresented voices, true diversity and inclusion will begin to make their way into the mainstream.
Wild Wanderer Spotlight: Avi
“An ecosystem can only survive through diversity, and reducing its diversity only brings imminent collapse. We should embrace and celebrate human diversity, too, as it strengthens our resilience to face adversity.” – Avi
What are your pronouns?
Preferred: She, her. But really I don’t use any, and when talking in Portuguese, I usually mix all of them when referring to myself.
How do you identify?
I identify as either a butch trans woman or non-binary.
What outdoor activities are you involved in?
I’m an avid hiker (I’ve been hiking for over 23 years) and climber (8 years). Climbing literally changed my life and made me even more in contact with nature.
In the past 6 years, I quit my job as an engineer at an oil company and decided to work closely with people. From there I’ve been building off-grid homes, teaching rock climbing, and working as a trail guide.
More recently I took lead in a small hiking/climbing backpack manufacturer. So climbing literally shifted me from big city living to being in nature 99% of the time. It has become part of my identity and soul.
Tell us about a favorite/memorable outdoor adventure you’ve had:
One of my most memorable outdoor adventures was teaching the “Introduction to Rock Climbing Clinic” at the Women’s Outdoor Festival in my city. The goal was to bring more women to the outdoors and foster the “you can do it, too” mentality, as the outdoor recreation scene is too hetero, cis, white, and male.
It was a great day and we had 20 participants. I was amazed by the spirit of companionship, positivity, and inclusivity they shared that day. It was wonderful to be able to share my love for climbing and it was my first time out presenting as non-binary. So bonus points for that!
In your opinion, what are the most important challenges/issues facing queer people outside?
For me, the biggest challenge in being LGBTQ+ is finding representation. And that (I’m sure) is one of the biggest barriers for other folks who want to enter the sport or come out of the closet. The more representation we have, the better!
As an LGBTQ+ person, if you could change one thing about the outdoor industry, what would it be?
We could REALLY use a good change in clothing. Gendered clothing sucks. Color and sizing options could and should be more inclusive.
Anything else to add?
In a world with 8 billion people, why are there still people who believe we only come in two options (male & female)? If nature can teach us something, it’s that it is diverse. There are millions of species of birds, trees, and so on.
An ecosystem can only survive through diversity, and reducing its diversity only brings imminent collapse. We should embrace and celebrate human diversity, too, as it strengthens our resilience to face adversity.
Connect with Avi
Follow Avi on Instagram.
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