Ask an LGBTQ+ person what’s stopping them from getting into the great outdoors, and they might have the odd concern. The truth is, nature and the great outdoors can feel contradictory. It’s everywhere and yet inaccessible and unrepresentative. Something needs to change — so, what can we do about it?
Well, queer people are more than enthusiastic about setting out on their own outdoor adventures. In fact, a study conducted by Equality Network Scotland revealed that 57% of LGBTQ+ respondents would be likely to get involved in sporting activities if it was more friendly to the community.
While this might sound like a challenge, the British outdoors brand, Berghaus, are committed to tackling the issues that prevent people from benefiting and blossoming in nature. The outdoors must be for everyone, and we can’t just assume it’s an easy fix. Working alongside GAY TIMES, Berghaus want to further increase the visibility of underrepresented groups and individuals in the outdoor space, supporting queer storytelling packed with community, exploration, and adventure. To do this, Berghaus are putting their passion into practice.
With the support of GAY TIMES, the British company has recruited the support of queer Scottish adventure Hamish Frost and the LGBTQ+ outdoors group Queer Climbers London to lead a brand new campaign. Frost, a mountain sports photographer, will be sharing his unique story with us and Berghaus’ wider campaign, which aims to further inspire more people to explore the nature around them. “When I first started getting out of Glasgow, I didn’t really know any other people who identified as queer in that community, so it made me slightly anxious about how it all might be received,” Hamish tells GAY TIMES.
To ensure that Hamish’s story isn’t told in isolation, we have partnered with London-based outdoors group, Queer Climbers London to show the power of “expanding beyond the gender binary” in activities and sharing lived experiences. “[We] feel empowered by my LGBTQIA+ friends and family at Queer Climbers London,” the group share. “Our community is not just limited to climbing, we fundraise together, we go to protests together, we have movie nights together, we have in essence found new members of our chosen family.” Together, with Berghaus and GAY TIMES, Queer Climbers London are proudly sharing their outdoor journey and lived experiences, proving the LGBTQ+ community has a place in the outdoors too.
Watch our GAY TIMES and Berghaus film featuring Hamish and Queer Climbers London venturing into the great outdoors below:
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The walk featured is Seven Sisters, 1.5 hrs from London and does not require much prior experience or technical gear.
Hamish Frost has also been working closely with Berghaus on a more personal level over the past few months. The accomplished climber, skier, mountaineer, and renowned outdoor and adventure photographer stars in an episode of the brand’s Ascension series. The video series is a newly produced project that looks to inspire new outdoor adventurers.
So, for episode three of the Ascension series, Hamish shares his own story – one of confidence and connection – for the first time. In the film, Hamish explores why he no longer wants to hide his sexuality from the outdoor community. Now, more than ever, he believes its
important to increase visibility for queer people so everyone can enjoy the great outdoors.
You can watch Hamish’s full episode below.