The first episode of Season 2, Episode 10 of the Climate Curious podcast is now live with our special guest, Pattie Gonia.
“Just get out there, get creative and advocate for our one true Queen, Mother Nature,” says Pattie Gonia, an iconic environmental and intersectional drag queen, on the latest episode of the Climate Curious podcast by TEDxLondon. In our most-engaging chat to date, they explain why the outdoors isn’t just for white, straight, cis people, it’s a space for everyone, why they still doesn’t see themselves as a climate leader and why hiking in 6-inch heeled thigh high boots feels so right.
Taught from a young age that queerness was ‘unnatural’, Pattie grew up in rural Nebraska in America’s midwest. Reclaiming their identity by placing her queerness in nature, they originally took their drag act to the hiking trail on a whim, “I put on these boots and I strutted into the outdoors, and I said, ‘this feels so good. No-one’s out here to judge me. I can be who I am. I can be what I want to be,’” they explain.
This freedom and acceptance in nature is something they want for everyone, and for every queer person. But nature trails aren’t always so accepting of people; you need a car and time off to travel to them, and to feel welcomed when you do actually visit them:
“I think about how much the outdoors have changed my life now, and I want that for every queer person. I think that the queer experience so often is to run to cities into Metropolitan spaces for acceptance and no wonder, because we find the queer community in these Metropolitan spaces, in cities, in bars and nightclubs. But, I also think we can find acceptance and community in the outdoors and rural spaces, too. I think it’s so important, to be connected to nature, especially as a queer person to just give yourself space and time to just discover who you are,” they say.Pattie Gonia
Having amassed over 300,000 followers on Instagram, Pattie Gonia is an intersectional environmentalist superstar, but the concept of being a climate leader still sits uncomfortably with them. “I’m just joining a group of people who are fighting for intersectionalism and the climate movement in their own unique ways. My way just includes wearing such six inch heels on the side of a mountain,” they share.
In this conversation, hosted by TEDxLondon’s Maryam Pasha and advocate and activist Ben Hurst, Pattie debunks what queer ecology is, unpacks how we can make the outdoors a space for everyone, and reveals why you can love your sofa and still be a climate activist.
Until next time – stay curious!