Monday, July 15, 2024
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Pattie Gonia Named 2024 Traveler of the Year!

We’re always excited when someone in the LGBTQ+ community gets their flowers! So, it’s no surprise that we could not contain our queer joy when we found out that National Geographic named drag queen and environmental activist Pattie Gonia (Wyn Wiley) as one of its 2024 Travelers of the Year! 

Pattie Gonia’s journey has been to upend the masculine outdoor stereotype and expand it to include the narratives of queer folks who enjoy exploring nature, too. She builds community by bringing the queer community together in the parks and wide-open spaces of her home state, Oregon. 

In case you didn’t know, Pattie is the co-founder of the Outdoorist Oath, a non-profit organization that gets BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and femmes into the community and education. She also founded the Queer Outdoor and Environmental Job Board as a free tool for queer folx to use to get hired and diversify the outdoor and environmental fields. 

In a recent National Geographic article, Pattie explained, “Every year my community fundraises to send 10 queer youth on a fully scholarshipped backpacking trip. One of the attendees told me and the group around the fire, ‘Being on this trip has helped me reclaim my childhood I don’t get to have.’” She added, “That’s everything to me.”

When she’s not organizing Last year, vacationers may recall that we featured an article about how Pattie Gonia used her vocals to create the climate change anthem, “Won’t Give Up”, with Grammy Award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma and indigenous trans musician Quinn Christopher.  And she’s not just helping to create cool anthems to call attention to global warming, but also using her talent to inspire the LGBTQ+ community. Check out her most recent song, “Made it Through the Night”! 

In addition to performing outdoor feats like climbing, skiing, surfing, and hiking in drag, Pattie and her community have raised more than $1.5 million for LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and environmental non-profits.

We would’ve loved to interview Pattie, but she’s a busy person. However, Vacationer Magazine still wanted to send a big congrats to her for repping the LGBTQ+ community as only she can – fabulously!

If you want to find out more about Pattie, her community, Outdoor Oath, and Queer Outdoor and Environmental Job Board, visit her website:

Vacationer Staff

Vacationer Magazine's writing staff works hard to bring you all the latest LGBTQ travel articles to help inspire and inform.

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