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: Savannah Vasquez
“Our concerns with safety in the outdoors should be focused on our surroundings, hydrating enough, watching for bears, and packing proper first aid. Unfortunately, we often also have to worry about other people.” – Savannah Vasquez
What are your pronouns?
How do you identify?
I identify as a gay, cis, Latina woman.
What outdoor activities are you involved in?
My passion is telling stories of the outdoors through photography, particularly as a space of inclusivity and diversity. I love anything outdoors, including hiking (with my dog and partner), kayaking, and I’m hoping to get into biking soon.
Tell us about a favorite/memorable outdoor adventure you’ve had:
One of my favorite experiences was with my dad. I actually wrote about it for The Outbound, but my dad and I were in Colorado for one of our Jeeping trips. He surprised me by asking about my girlfriend, and although he has spent some time with her at family gatherings, this was a topic which we hadn’t really discussed before. It was really unforgettable for me, and I think made largely possible by our shared love for the outdoors and the opportunity to be in it together.
In your opinion, what are the most important challenges/issues facing queer people outside?
I feel that safety is still a big concern for LGBTQ+ people in the outdoors. Our concerns with safety in the outdoors should be focused on our surroundings, hydrating enough, watching for bears, and packing proper first aid. Unfortunately, we often also have to worry about other people. It’s highly possible for us, just as in our everyday lives, to encounter people who may be hateful with words or even violent. What if we need the help of a stranger? Can we trust someone? The outdoors should be our escape from those burdensome but real worries, and anyone should be able to trust others on the trail. We need our allies to help cultivate a safer outdoors for everyone.
As an LGBTQ+ person, if you could change one thing about the outdoor industry, what would it be?
Adding on to the above, I would love if the outdoors were more inclusive to those who are women, people of color, LGBTQ+, differently-abled, and more. I would love for more outdoor companies to champion inclusion and activism. Whenever leaders in the industry are speaking out and showing that they are committed to making changes, I believe it helps us to feel more safe and helps others to be more aware of struggles we face.
Connect with Savannah Vasquez
Follow Savannah Vasquez on Instagram.
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