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LGBT People In The Wild

The Healing Power of the Great Outdoors

Venture Out brings LGBT people to nature and lets them explore, marvel, and heal.

According to the 2016 North American Camper Report, same-sex households are five times more likely to camp than the general population. What continues to draw them out into wild places, research confirms, are the healing benefits those places provide, allowing people to escape everyday work and life concerns or the pressures of societal judgment.

Yet while many LGBTQ+ people find comfort in nature, many also struggle to access it. Some states are rich in natural wonders but poor when it comes to inclusive health care, antidiscrimination laws, and other protections. Utah, for instance, has some of our nation's most spectacular public lands but also might not feel like a safe place for many to visit.

Last September, 12 hikers from six states around the country set out on a four-day journey through Olympic National Park -- one in a series of expeditions organized by the Venture Out Project, a nonprofit that takes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and nonbinary and differently gendered people on wilderness adventures. Journey with Venture Out as they work to build an inclusive movement for access to the outdoors for all.

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Advocate Video Team