Why the Lesbian Community Needs More Nature Hikes

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When was the last time you went for a hike?

Maybe it was last week. Maybe it was last year. Maybe you’ve never been.

With the accessibility of digital entertainment and the constant pressures of everyday life, it can be difficult to connect with nature. Even if you like the great outdoors, you might look at the long list of equipment required for a rock climb or a camping trip and think, “What’s the point?”

A new Colorado-based program called Queer Nature is working to change that. This organization is focused on connecting queer women with the earth to show how important ecological health is to spiritual growth. They aim to make the great outdoors accessible to everyone.

The nonprofit Women’s Wilderness runs the workshops. Women’s Wilderness’ mission is “to broaden participation in nature and help women and girls strengthen their confidence and leadership skills through outdoor experiences.” The Queer Nature portion opened in Fall 2016.

So what sort of workshops does a Queer Nature program offer? Classes on impressing a cute girl with your rock climbing skills? Lessons on cooking a romantic meal over a fire?

No, this workshop is hardcore. In February, participants will learn how to track wildlife. In May, they’ll learn how to defend themselves from attackers and wrangle horses. Past participants have learned how to build fires from scratch, weave baskets out of pine needles and participate in equine therapy.

Accessibility is important to the Women’s Wilderness program. The classes are $10, and scholarships are available. By comparison, equine therapy classes elsewhere can cost hundreds of dollars and are rarely accessible to the queer and poor communities who may benefit most.

If you live in Colorado, check out the program here. If you live elsewhere but still want to connect with nature, check out OUTdoors, Gay Outdoors and Adventuring LGBT Outdoors Club.

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If only the world was as “open-minded” as us… Alas, matters of sexual identity and equal love, often cause so much friction in the rest of the world. Here, find an open dialogue on the issues facing our LGBT community.

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