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: Shilletha
“I would love to see more People of Color on the trails. It’s one thing to be a woman but to be a Black Gay woman is a triple threat. Intersectionality is important…understanding the inequalities when it comes to gear, wealth, exposure and privilege is pivotal to making a difference.” – Shilletha
What are your pronouns?
How do you identify?
What outdoor activities are you involved in?
Tell us about a favorite/memorable outdoor adventure you’ve had:
I cowboy camped at Weser Bald on the Appalachian trail with a crew of cool humans. We got a beautiful sunset, sunrise and moon rise. The stars were amazing. I’m currently thru-hiking the AT.
In your opinion, what are the most important challenges/issues facing queer people outside?
The most challenging issues facing queer folks outside is the ability to feel safe and comfortable in spaces in which they are uncertain about. There are stories that I have heard from other hikers about townspeople in the bar using the word “faggot” freely. Thru-hiking on the Appalachian Trail, you come across a plethora of towns. These woods are more conservative.
I also think using the bathroom can be uncomfortable especially for Trans folks as they may feel another level of fear that I cannot relate to. Not everyone is accepting.
As an LGBTQIA+ person, if you could change one thing about the outdoor industry, what would it be?
I would love to see more People of Color on the trails. I am a gay Black woman and my people are few and far between. It’s one thing to be a woman but to be a Black Gay woman is a triple threat. Intersectionality is important. Seeing People of Color is important and understanding the inequalities when it comes to gear, wealth, exposure and privilege is pivotal to making a difference.
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