National Geographic Names Drag Queen As ‘Traveler Of The Year’

transgender flag (Cecilie Johnsen for Unsplash)

Drag queen Wyn Wylie, known by the stage name “Pattie Gonia,” has been honored as a “Traveler of the Year” by the corporate media organization National Geographic.

In a January article highlighting several individuals as “Travelers of the Year,” Wylie, as “Pattie Gonia,” stood out at the forefront of the list. Described by National Geographic as an “artist [and] environmentalist,” the drag queen is recognized for her efforts in helping LGBTQ+ youth engage with the outdoors.

“Her feel-good music videos address environmental justice and pride in identity, and include collaborators such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Indigenous trans musician Quinn Christopherson,” the outlet noted.

Reflecting on her impact, Wylie shared with the outlet, “Every year my community fundraises to send 10 queer youth on a fully scholarshipped backpacking trip… One of the attendees told me and the group around the fire, ‘Being on this trip has helped me reclaim a childhood I didn’t get to have.’ That’s everything to me.”

Wylie made headlines previously for causing controversy regarding the North Face brand’s “Summer of Pride” ad campaign.

In response to the backlash and calls for boycotts against the campaign, North Face defended its decision, with a spokesman stating, “The North Face has always believed the outdoors should be a welcoming, equitable and safe place for all. We are honored and grateful to support partners like Pattie Gonia who help make this vision a reality.”