In this episode of the Dear Patriarchy series we get into conversation with Queer Nature founders Pınar Ateş Sinopoulos-Lloyd and Sophia ("So") Sinopoulos-Lloyd. Queer Nature is a Colorado-based project that creates a decolonially-informed queer futurism through earth-based skills. Queer Nature envisions and implements ecological relationship as a vital and often overlooked part of the healing and wholing of populations who have been systemically silenced and marginalized, such as the LGBTQ2+ population, and especially trans and queer people of color and two-spirit folks.
+++Be sure to check out/sign up for Queer Natures upcoming queer scouting intensive Scoutcraft: Belonging as Resistance coming up July 19-21 2018 in Portland OR and also their Queer Mountain Quest, a partnership between Queer Nature & Rites of Passage Journeys which Pinar will be guiding for 13-18 year old youth and taking place near Seattle WA, August 12-25 2018. And hop onto queernature.org to find out information about all the upcoming Queer Nature participation opportunities. +++
Here is the conversation with Queer Nature:
"Queer Nature promotes ecological literacy and relationship building with living and non-living earth systems through ancestral-futurist resilience skills...creating spaces for women and LGBTQ2+ people to access their natural human right to these skills which is a revolutionary act in today's world."
More about Queer Nature:
Queer Nature is a Colorado-based project that creates a decolonially-informed queer futurism through earth-based skills. Queer Nature recognizes that many people, including LGBTQ2+ people and womxn, have historically not had easy access to the culture of outdoor recreation on Turtle Island. Pursuits like hunting, fishing, camping, and tactical or survival skills have been very difficult to access or relate to for anyone who didn't grow up hunting, in Boy Scouts, or in the military. Additionally, LGBTQ2+ community has historically formed in urban America—in places like bars and clubs—the wilderness has not necessarily been a welcoming place for us. To create a space for women and LGBTQ2+ people to access their natural human right to these skills is a revolutionary act in today's world. This program envisions and implements ecological relationship as a vital and often overlooked part of the healing and wholing of populations who have been systemically silenced and marginalized, such as the LGBTQ2+ population, and especially trans and queer people of color and two-spirit folks. Ecological literacy is deep relationship building with living and non-living earth systems through ancestral-futurist resilience skills including naturalist knowledge, so-called ‘survival’ skills, natural crafts, and local cultural/natural history.
Queer Nature Founders:
Pınar Ateş Sinopoulos-Lloyd (they/them/theirs) has always been allured by how the natural world mirrors one’s internal landscape. Enchanted by the liminal, Pınar is a nonbinary QTPOC (Queer & Trans Person of Color) with Huanca, Turkish and Chinese lineages. They along with their spouse, So, co-founded Queer Nature, a project bringing earth-based queer community through ancestral skills, nature-connection and vision fast guiding. In addition to offering LGBTQ2+ specific programming, Pınar is a consultant, presenter and speaker at universities and conferences, program designer and facilitator in collaboration with non-profits and a canoe guide. As an indigenous nonbinary outdoor leader, their inspiration is envisioning decolonially-informed queer futurism through interspecies accountability and remediating the myth of human exceptionalism. As a survival skills instructor, one of their core missions is to uplift and amplify the brilliant “survival skills” that BIPOC, LGBTQ2+ and other intersectional oppressed populations already have in their resilient bodies and stories of survivance. Their relationship with queerness, neurodivergence, indigeneity and belonging guided their work in developing Queer Ecopsychology through studies at Prescott College, Wilderness Awareness School, School of Lost Borders, Animas Valley Institute, Naropa University and Esalen Institute. Their undergraduate work was in applied ecopsychology with a somatic and depth approach through a decolonial and queer lens. Currently enrolled at the University of Vermont, they are working on their degree in Master of Science in Natural Resources with a Concentration in Leadership for Sustainability.
Sophia ("So") Sinopoulos-Lloyd is a queer Greek-American who grew up in the northern hardwood forests of central Vermont. So’s initiation to the transformative power of the natural world came when they went on a summer backpacking intensive at age 16, and later continued when they worked as a seasonal shepherd and cheese-making assistant throughout college and sheep began to teach them new things about belonging, awareness, and community. Inspired by the resilience and hardiness of these beings, So went on to do immersive studies in ancestral earth-based skills and natural science, and also completed an MA that focused on relationships between religion and ecology in the Eastern Mediterranean. Much of So's work is animated by a study of how personhood and a sense of belonging are interwoven with geography and can be further informed by intimate knowledge of place through naturalist study. Along with their spouse Pinar, So develops and runs LGBTQ2+ nature-based programming for Women’s Wilderness in Colorado. Pinar and So’s organization, Queer Nature, is devoted to creating empowering and accessible spaces where LGBTQ2+, non-binary, and two-spirit people can learn various ancestral earth-based skills. Some things that So is most passionate about teaching and learning are survival skills, wildlife tracking, and wilderness emergency medicine. So still hopes to one day be as cool and skilled as sheep are.