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Five LGBTQIA+ Groups Building Community in the Outdoors

Thanks to groups like The Venture Out Project, the outdoors is becoming a more inclusive and accessible place. The Venture Out Project photo.

Happy Pride Month! This year at TGR we’d like to honor this celebration by showcasing some incredible non-profit organizations and groups aiming to make the outdoors a more welcoming and loving place for our fellow LGBTQIA+ skiers, snowboarders, hikers, kayakers, climbers, bikers, surfers, and more. Mother nature takes pride in all of us, so we hope this list of resources can help break down barriers, and create new connections wherever you like to get out and explore.

The Venture Out Project

The Venture Out Project offers everything from group day hikes to overnight backpacking trips. The Venture Out Project photo.

The Venture Out Project is an organization that’s been leading backpacking and wilderness trips for the queer and transgender community since 2014. Originally the brainchild of former wilderness instructor and outdoor enthusiast Perry Cohen, he created the group in hopes of providing a safe and fun space for queer, trans, and LGBTQIA+ people to experience the outdoors. Their mission has been so successful that TVOP now hosts everything from day hikes to whitewater rafting to service-oriented trips in National Parks across the country. The organization also incorporates an educational component that teaches educators, adventure professionals, summer camps, and brands about transgender inclusion and how to create identity-affirming environments for LGBTQIA+ individuals in outdoor settings.

You can learn more about their programs and support their cause here.

Camp Brave Trails

Camp Brave Trails hopes to empower queer youth in a safe and welcoming atmosphere. Camp Brave Trails photo.

Summer camp has always served as a rite of passage for kids and teens to build new relationships and experience the great outdoors. Camp Brave Trails wants to offer those same benefits and more with their accredited summer programs focused on uplifting LGBTQIA+ youth. The non-profit organization offers everything from summer camps, family camps, mentorship programs, meet-up groups, and year-round leadership programming geared at helping queer youth find their people, place, and passion. Their camps are located in California and Maryland, and in the past six years, they’ve served 1000 LGBTQIA+ campers from 39 states and 15 different countries.

You can learn more about their programs and support their cause here.

Get Out and Trek

Try a new adventure and meet new friends at one of Get Out and Trek's organized meet ups. GOAT photo.

If you’re new to adventuring outside, knowing where to start can feel intimidating and overwhelming. Get Out and Trek (GOAT) hopes to help LGBTQIA+ folx bypass that barrier altogether by offering all kinds of outdoor trips ranging from hiking to kayaking to snowsports. The organization is composed of members from all corners of North America, and their collective enthusiasm has cultivated one vibrant community. On top of their long list of exciting activities, GOAT also launched an Outdoor Equality Index initiative (OEI). It’s a survey to measure how outdoor brands are engaging with the LGBTQIA+ community, and GOAT hopes that the information they collect can be used by the outdoor industry to create meaningful engagements with the queer community.

You can learn more about their programs and support their cause here.

Queer Surf

Queer Surf hosts surfing meet ups for Queer folx throughout California. Queer surf photo.

Surf culture has always been associated with the idea of freedom. What’s more liberating than gliding through the ocean? But for LGBTQIA+ folx, this space hasn’t always been the most welcoming or inclusive, and the group Queer Surf is hoping to change that. The organization hosts surf meet-ups and lessons for queer folx throughout California, aspiring to equip their participants with the tools and knowledge to safely enjoy the ocean. Originally spearheaded by pro-surfer Kyla Langen in 2015, Langen found herself as one of the few gay athletes in a largely heteronormative, patriarchal surf industry. These days, Langen is drawing on her wealth of experiences to make the lineup and the beach a more diverse and welcoming space.

You can learn more about their programs and support their cause here.

Seen Snowboarding

If you’re looking to find and connect with other queer snowboarding partners, then be sure to check out the Seen Snowboarding Instagram page. It hosts queer snowboarding meet-ups at resorts all over the country and is a great curation of queer snowboarding culture. The grassroots page is a great resource for connecting with other queer snow sliders.

You can learn more about the group here.

inclusion of different people is a very important sport. It allows us to grow as a community with love and hope. Thanks for sharing! Roofing Durham

Inclusion and diversity are especially important in different businesses. Thank you so much for sharing this! Emergency Tree Service

Great article as always TGR THanks for sharing! Septic Pumping

Thanks for sharing this article. I hope it helps build the community even further. Thanks, TGR! Septic Pumping

Cool tricks! That was intense!

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