Week 2: Queer Identity + the Outdoors


Happy second week of the Ignorance Project! I hope that those of you out West have gotten some more powder -- but if not, you're welcome to some of my sweet, sweet Boston dirt-slush, I mean, snow.

A reminder that we're going to continue to work within the framework of No Man's Land as an organization with multiple platforms (website, social media, regional events) and tiers of representatives (staff, ambassadors, social media followers). NML touches a lot of people, and this project is about helping your organization exert its mission—to redefine femininity in adventure, sport, culture, and conversation—even more intentionally and successfully.

This Week's Readings

  • The Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression video that fleshes out some terminology
  • This REI article about Queer identity in the outdoor community
  • This short personal narrative from Kate Frisher of "Wild and Weightless" about queerness and outdoor exploration


- Mollie



This week we talked a lot about creating gender-aware campaigns and content that holds longevity and authenticity and isn't tokenizing. As women, we all know what it feels like to be tokenized, the only woman at the crag, the only girl who can hang with the guys - yeah, we've all been there. If not - yay! We went through our organizational measures that influence our marketing strategy and found that we aren't doing too shabby of a job. That being said, there is always room to improve! While our film content is becoming more representative of women of color, we are utterly lacking in films that tell stories of the LGBTQ community. What is our plan of action? Until we have the budget to create these films ourselves, we will continue to contribute to the oral history of the LGBTQ outdoor community and elevate the voices who are willing to share their points of view. 



Gender Expression: The way an individual's gender is communicated to the world; socially defined. 

Gender Identity: An individual's innate identification as a man, woman, neither, etc. 

Queer: Originally meant as an insult, people are now embracing the word "queer" to describe any kind of divergent identity. The beauty of using the word "queer" is that it can afford the user a certain amount of privacy and fluidity in their identification, rather than committing to a specific identity. 

Sexual Orientation: An individual's emotional and physical attraction



Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression. True Colors Fund. 16 December 2015.

The First LGBTQ Outdoor Summit. REI Co-op Journal. 18 October 2017.

Coming Out in the Outdoors. Kate Frisher. Wild and Weightless. 28 December 2017.