Thinking about climate change can be a drag, but what if we used drag to fight climate change?
In honor of Earth Week, drag queens Pattie Gonia and VERA! are co-hosting an environmental drag show in San Francisco: SAVE HER! Themed around sustainability, the show will feature seven guest performers and will be the first stop of many upcoming performances.
“SAVE HER! will feature drag kings, queens, and things performing numbers about environmentalism, climate change, and our one true queen, Mother Natch,” Pattie Gonia shared on Instagram.
“Be there or be a flat-earther,” she added in the comments.
Performers include Helixer, Mudd The Two Spirit, Tyson Check-In, Nicki Jizz, Kai Kai Bee Michaels, Dragon King, and Lotus Boy.
Who is Pattie Gonia?
Pattie Gonia (whose off-stage name is Wyn Wiley) is a drag queen environmentalist and community organizer. Pattie’s mission is to build a more inclusive, diverse community for LGBTQ+ folks, allies, and the planet, all through the beauty of drag and environmental education.
Pattie’s platform of over 500,000 followers has made way for partnerships with brands like The North Face, Tazo, Nuun, and Hoka, as well as events and speaking engagements with folks like Bill Nye and Johnathan Van Ness.
Pattie is also a co-creator of the Outdoorist Oath, a nonprofit designed for outdoorist communities to think about the intersections of planet, inclusion, and adventure — and how they can uniquely show up for all three.
Her work to celebrate both LGBTQ+ culture and the outdoors in style makes her a leader in both spaces and brings joy, action, and hope to issues that are often clouded in fear, threats, and uncertainty.
Why is this good news?
Across the country, the art of drag — as well as the lives of LGBTQ+ people who perform in drag — have been under attack by lawmakers.
Tennessee became the first state to pass a ban on public drag shows, and states like Nebraska, Texas, North Dakota, West Virginia, South Carolina, and more have introduced similar bills in their state legislatures.
These bills, which are written with broad language, could threaten any public gathering of queer folks, effectively making their existence in public life illegal.”
While legislators are fighting against such bills, and LGBTQ+ activists of all backgrounds work to protect their community members, it becomes more important — and scarier — than ever for LGBTQ+ folks to be present in all areas of the world, including the outdoors.
Intersectional environmentalism has elevated the need for our climate action to consider a wide spectrum of experiences with both social and environmental injustice.
This includes the exclusion of marginalized groups from outdoor communities, such as queer, disabled, Black and Indigenous folks, who may not fit the stereotype of what an “outdoorsy” person is.
Countless organizations, like Queer Nature, or Pattie Gonia’s Outdoorist Oath, are working to make the outdoors safer and more welcoming for LGBTQ+ folks — and urging outdoor companies to unearth and rediscover what it truly means to be inclusive.
By emboldening other drag performers and creating a safe and affirming space in the name of Mother Earth, Pattie Gonia’s drag show provides a glimmer of hope in an otherwise glitter-less political landscape — and puts the spotlight back on diverse, fabulous communities who love the planet.