Meet Pattie Gonia, the Backpacking Drag Queen Selling Inclusivity within the Open air – Health Tips For Women

Pattie Gonia, the self-described "backpacking queen," is sort of presumably the best addition to Instagram in 2018.

Her account, @pattiegonia, named as a pun on the outside retailer Patagonia, is helmed by Wyn Wiley, a 26-year-old Nebraska-based photographer who created it in early October. Within the quick time since, Pattie has amassed practically 80,000 followers. Based on the bio, she's 鈥渁 proud LGBTQ advocate" who's right here to carry "inclusivity, positivity, and heels into the outside." (When creating movies, photographs, and captions for Pattie, Wiley, who makes use of he/him/his pronouns when speaking about himself, makes use of she/they for Pattie.) How, precisely, does she do this?

By movies just like the one under, set to the tune of Ariana Grande鈥檚 鈥渢hank u, subsequent,鈥 during which Pattie bids adieu to environmental threats whereas dancing subsequent to a cliff in Yosemite with mountaineering poles and 6-inch heels:

There鈥檚 additionally this "Loopy in Love"鈥搕hemed publish during which Pattie, in full nature-inspired drag, does her finest Beyonc茅 impression:

Oh, and this critically spectacular yoga-on-a-rock sequence that Pattie by some means accomplished in鈥攜ou guessed it鈥6-inch heels:

Pattie Gonia was born earlier this yr when Wiley was simply having espresso with associates.

鈥淲e have been considering up new ridiculous humorous drag queen names, and somebody threw out Pattie Gonia,鈥 Wiley tells SELF. "I used to be like: 'Um, yep!'" So on an upcoming backpacking journey to the Continental Divide, Wiley squeezed his drag boots into his backpack (鈥渢hey鈥檙e the least space-convenient factor on planet Earth鈥) and created the debut video, set to the tune of Fergie鈥檚 鈥淟ondon Bridge,鈥 during which Pattie writhes atop a rock, twirls mountaineering poles, eats Flamin鈥 Sizzling Cheetos, and struts throughout a trail-turned-runway in her signature heels. 鈥淚t was just a little video to say: Dwell your life unapologetically鈥攈ave enjoyable,鈥 says Wiley, who shared it on his personal-slash-professional Instagram account, @wynwileyphoto, with the intention of it being a one-time factor.

But the footage rapidly garnered lots of of views and constructive feedback鈥攍ike, 鈥淚鈥檓 obsessed together with her already,鈥 鈥淭hat is precisely what I wanted tonight,鈥 and, 鈥淣eatest thing I鈥檝e seen in without end鈥濃攚hich impressed Wiley to construct a separate account. Pattie鈥檚 persona and message morphed from there.


鈥淚 got here at it from a really comedic angle at first, however what I鈥檓 realizing is that it鈥檚 actually vital to lots of people, and the outside are actually vital to lots of people,鈥 says Wiley, an Eagle Scout, avid skier, frequent backpacker, and aspiring path runner, of the evolution of the account. 鈥淔or queer folks, the narrative sadly typically is to be pushed into actually city areas to [find] acceptance.鈥

A bit of greater than two months after her genesis, the objective with Pattie, he says, is to rewrite that narrative. 鈥淚 need queer folks and anybody on the spectrum entering into the outside to really feel like that house is theirs to seek out out just a little extra about who they’re and luxuriate in their lives,鈥 he says. He goals to unfold this message by mixing enjoyable, inspiration, and schooling in his posts.

鈥淎ll of us simply wish to be entertained once we open our telephones and go to Instagram, but when we may be entertained and get just a little dose of Oh, that challenges my considering just a little bit, or That鈥檚 just a little bit inspiring, that鈥檚 stunning,鈥 he says.

Wiley says the Instagram neighborhood that follows Pattie has widened his personal perspective on what defines inclusivity within the outdoor.

Wiley says he tries to be 鈥渟o utterly considerate in regards to the content material and messages that Pattie pushes out and stands for.鈥 Even so, he admits that by way of the account, he鈥檚 realized a lot about inclusivity within the outdoor himself, like when he posted a video of Pattie dancing to the music 鈥淐olours of the Wind鈥 from the Disney film Pocahontas.

鈥淚 had lots of people in my inbox saying, Simply so you already know, that was a music written by a white individual about [Native American] tribes put collectively by a large company that鈥檚 principally simply attempting to promote one other film. Sure, they did attempt to do the analysis, however the story is advised in a very unrepresented approach, and perhaps simply take into consideration that,鈥 he says. 鈥淭hat was a fantastic studying second for me,鈥 and impressed a follow-up publish on Thanksgiving during which Pattie discusses the significance of understanding the historical past of indigenous folks and lands within the U.S.

鈥淧attie has been a journey for me to be taught far more in regards to the outdoor world,鈥 says Wiley.

Mixing conventional requirements of femininity and masculinity is a signature and vital a part of Pattie鈥檚 persona.

Scroll by way of Pattie鈥檚 account and also you鈥檒l hardly ever see her in head-to-toe drag. As an alternative, she typically mixes stereotypical female and masculine apparel鈥攁 heeled boot right here, a backwards baseball cap there鈥攁nd Wiley believes this amalgamation is a key a part of her intrigue and recognition.

Karen Ok. Wang


鈥淚f I confirmed up in full drag after I made that first video, I don鈥檛 assume it might have reached the identical viewers because it actually did,鈥 says Wiley. He additionally sees this feminine-meets-masculine mixture as an vital reflection of the human expertise.

鈥淎ll of us have extra 'female' or extra 'masculine' elements to who we’re, and I believe once we understand that every one of these components make us human, that鈥檚 actually stunning,鈥 says Wiley. 鈥淚n fact Pattie is admittedly exaggerated on one finish, however I really feel just like the extra I鈥檝e actually been in a position to bounce between all completely different sides of me, the extra complete I鈥檝e felt as a human.鈥

He sees nature as a judgement-free zone during which we will unleash these nuanced elements of our personalities. 鈥淣ature doesn’t care who we’re in any respect,鈥 says Wiley. 鈥淣ature simply is and it鈥檚 so stunning, and we’re so stunning as we’re. Why can鈥檛 we simply dance and have a good time that?鈥

The behind-the-scenes manufacturing for Pattie is as wonderful (and as painful) as you may think.

Creating movies for Pattie Gonia, which Wiley does with the assistance of associates, requires a number of takes and important time in heels. 鈥淲hat it seems to be like behind the scenes is me falling on my f***ing ass,鈥 he says. 鈥淚t’s a scorching mess categorical.鈥

As for the heels themselves, 鈥渢hey鈥檙e tall as f***, and it鈥檚 about as tall as I might ever go,鈥 says Wyn, who’s 6-foot-Three barefoot. All that trekking, dancing, and prancing does a quantity on the footwear (and doubtless his toes, to be trustworthy), which is why he rotates between three black pairs and is at present stocking his stock with extra.

Karen Ok. Wang

Although Wiley is the primary to confess that mountaineering in such tall footwear is 鈥渘ot sensible,鈥 he says that Pattie takes precautions to guard each herself and the paths she walks鈥攅r, struts鈥攐n. 鈥淪he shouldn’t be ruining the bottom underneath her and it’d appear like she is on the sting of a cliff, however there may be undoubtedly an overhang under,鈥 says Wiley. 鈥淚t鈥檚 loads secure.鈥 (However in fact, you shouldn't ever hike in footwear that's not acceptable for the terrain to keep away from injuring your self.)

Past sharing humorous and informative content material, Wiley hopes to make use of Pattie as a platform to companion with outside manufacturers and additional promote inclusivity within the outdoor.

A number of manufacturers have already reached out to Pattie with potential sponsorship offers, says Wiley, and he鈥檚 weighing them rigorously. He鈥檚 not eager about acquiring free swag鈥攈e鈥檚 in search of companions that can assist him broaden Pattie Gonia鈥檚 mission by way of do-go work. Within the coming yr, Wiley hopes to lift $100,000 for LGBTQ nonprofits, donate outside gear to those that can鈥檛 afford it, try a 10- to 20-mile fundraising hike (all in heels, in fact), and lead teams of first-time hikers as Pattie Gonia. 鈥淢y dream could be for all styles and sizes, all colours, all ranges of expertise to only get out and be in neighborhood with one another,鈥 he says.

If Wiley has a message for anybody who follows Pattie, nevertheless they determine and whether or not they're an avid outdoors-person or a never-before-hiker, it鈥檚 this:

鈥淭ake an opportunity and apply self love鈥攚ill probably be value it," he says. Additionally: 鈥淎s clich茅 because it sounds, stay unapologetically. You don’t have anything to show and all the things to present.鈥

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