13 Feb Pattie Gonia ~ Queen of the Great Outdoors
Just a few days before the 2019 Outdoor Retailer Snow Show in Denver I got my reporting assignments. Among the various topics I was tasked to report on was a human interest profile on a young man attending OR for the first time. Wyn Wiley is a professional photographer from Lincoln, Nebraska. He’s also known as the drag queen Pattie Gonia.
I’ll be honest I’ve never interviewed a drag queen before and I have to say that I was a little nervous. I was more than a bit concerned about mixing up my male/female pronouns and appearing insensitive or even impolite. My goal in this interview was to create a safe space where Wiley could tell me all about his alter ego and share her story.
Coming on the scene only a few months ago Pattie Gonia is an Internet sensation, with more than 117,000 followers on Instagram. In an industry that has more than its fair share of toxic masculinity this leggy dame in platform heels and trekking poles may just be the joyful expression of wilderness the business of outdoor retail desperately needs.
In an interview last year Elyse Rylander, founder and executive director of Out There Adventures, an LGBTQ youth engagement organization, said something I will always remember. “There is nothing straight in nature.” The outdoors is place where everyone is free to be themselves. Diversity is a sign of strength any natural environment. So get out there and find the best expression of who you really are. Look for Wiley’s photographs and videos at instagram.com/pattiegonia.
The Joy Trip Project is made possible thanks to the partnership of Specialty News also known as SNEWS, the outdoor industry online trade magazine. You’ll find my text profile with pictures of Wyn Wiley as Pattie Gonia at SNEWSNET.com.
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