Known for their/her climate change activism and outdoor dance-offs, drag queen Pattie Gonia is bringing a queer nature party to Mile High City.
Pattie Gonia is leading an outdoor event series to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities dubbed the Summer of Pride. The event is co-hosted by The North Face outdoor gear and apparel brand, which is headquartered in Denver.
"It's essential that everyone has equal access—and especially that systemically underrepresented communities have equal access—to the outdoors,” said Pattie Gonia then continued, “The outdoors are a critical place for our mental health, physical health, for our development, especially for our youth, and are really critical to us caring about climate, climate change, and being a part of climate solutions."
After kicking off in Portland, Oregon, on June 11th, the series will land in Denver from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6.
Summer of Pride gatherings also are scheduled in Columbus, Ohio, and San Francisco, California.
Pattie Gonia connects with Coloradans through ‘Summer of Pride’ event
The Summer of Pride event aims to promote underrepresented communities and climate advocacy while building a community that can advocate for climate solutions.
“We've created an environment that disconnects us from the outdoors and from us as a part of nature. Through that severed connection, oftentimes we feel more inspired to pursue capitalism and things that harm the earth rather than things that benefit and work symbiotically with the earth,” shared Pattie Gonia.
Several climate activists and outdoor leaders will join the half-day program, including Erin Parisi, a transgender mountaineer based in Colorado. Parisi aims to climb the Seven Summits.
Community members can opt for a nature walk or hike and watercolor painting sessions. The event also includes live music and discussions.
One of the most significant values of the event is an opportunity to network and create allyship with like-minded people.
“The outdoors, especially for queer people, is an important place for mental healing, mental strength, and physical strength. It's a powerful place for queer people to connect in general. It looks like anything from two queer friends getting outside and feeling like they're building a safer space for each other to experience the outdoors, to going outdoors in large groups, to things like we're doing with this North Face group hike,” said Pattie Gonia.
To help support the accessibility needs of recreationists, the activities will be labeled Stationary, Stationary+, Active, and Very Active.
And, of course, attendees will have an opportunity to meet and chat with Pattie Gonia.
The North Face supports LGBTQ+ communities
Beyond the Summer of Pride collaboration with Pattie Gonia, The North Face has helped to build equity in the outdoors in other ways.
The brand launched a lineup of Pride-inspired apparel for adults and youth to promote Pride Month.
The brand donated $100,000 to Brave Trails, a leadership-focused summer camp for LGBTQ youth, located in California and Maryland. The funds will support an overnight facility for the world’s first-ever LGBTQ+ camp dedicated to queer youth, called Forever Home.
The North Face has also donated to the Queer Nature and Out There Adventures nonprofits.
Register for Denver Summer of Pride
In total, 100 winners will be selected to join the community event, and each participant can bring one additional guest. The event is free of cost.
The deadline for folks to enter the raffle for Denver Summit of Pride is Monday, June 13th, 2022. The prizewinners will be announced by June 16th.
Ultimately, "Everyone having more access to the outdoors—when it comes to outdoor education and spaces where they feel comfortable and in community with people like them in the outdoors—has a ripple effect directly to climate solutions. When we care and are connected to our climate, we realize how beautiful it is and how worth it is to fight for and advocate to have solutions for,” said Pattie Gonia.