The Wild Wanderer Spotlight Series highlights the stories of queer adventurers in their own words. We hope that by sharing these underrepresented voices, outdoor diversity and inclusivity will flourish. You are not alone.
Wild Wanderer Spotlight: Meagan
“…social media and the mainstream push this narrative that fancy gear and hiking boots are required…I think my grandpa hitting the trails with his Air Jordans is a testament that you don’t need the latest and greatest to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.” – Meagan
What are your pronouns?
How do you identify?
Queer / Latinx
What outdoor activities are you involved in?
Conservation / Trailwork / Hiking
Tell us about a favorite/memorable outdoor adventure you’ve had:
Sometime during 2016 I took my grandpa out to Mount Zirkel Wilderness area for his 75th birthday. We knocked out this super cool 12 mile hike up to Gilpin lake. My grandpa repped a sweet Virgen de Guadalupe t-shirt and some Air Jordans for our trek and he crushed it. Being outside, allows folks to open up, it’s this transformative experience where the worries of real life dissipate and we focus on what’s actually on our minds, we share more, we think more, we explore more. On our hike, we talked about his childhood, his stick and poke tattoos, and his favorite corridos (Mi Madrecita by Al Hurricane is his all-time favorite, I suggest you give it a listen, total banger). On this hike I had the opportunity to learn about the life of my grandfather, he opened up about the struggles he faced growing up as a Mexican-American and the wisdom he had to share. That wisdom ultimately being that granola bars taste like cardboard and tajin could maybe fix that issue.
In your opinion, what are the most important challenges/issues facing queer people outside?
Queer folks face a lot of hurdles when it comes to accessing the outdoors, including a lack of representation and what can seem like a high monetary cost of entry. I think social media and the mainstream push this narrative that fancy gear and hiking boots are required to hit the trail when I think the mentality should shift more towards coming as you are, but bring some water so you don’t dehydrate 🙂 I think my grandpa hitting the trails with his Air Jordans is a testament that you don’t need the latest and greatest to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.
As an LGBTQIA+ person, if you could change one thing about the outdoor industry, what would it be?
I think patience and vulnerability are things within the outdoor industry that everyone could work on. We could all be better at holding space for folks as they navigate life and explore the outdoors. I know some outdoorsy folks who will mock others for lugging so much outside on their first camping trip when I think it should be seen as an opportunity to teach, educate, or even share some tips. Let’s all hold space for ourselves as we figure it all out, it’s okay to ask questions, it’s okay to be vulnerable.
Do you have anything else to add?
Have fun & be goofy – we can’t take our Instagram photos or likes with us when we die.
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