She's earned her Runway Walk Merit Badge
November 13, 2018 11:51 PM   Subscribe

posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:30 AM on November 14, 2018

The article admits he doesn't hike the whole trail in heels ("the human ankle was not built for such a thing"), but even just a portion in heels is impressive. Even the mates from Priscilla Queen Of The Desert wore sensible shoes on their hike.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:48 AM on November 14, 2018 [5 favorites]

Oh, honey, I'm beyond thrilled for you, I really am, that you are finding such rich fulfillment in this path of vibrant self actualization, being as you are a comparatively wealthy white man in the United States, wearing 6 inch heels, a really nice style too, well chosen, for posed photographs and I guess not much else, and with you being a professional photographer and all, I mean you are definitely a cutie (kiss kiss), so you do have my sincerest compliments on nudging the Overton window of middle American acceptance of slightly unusual antics performed by a pale skinned queer man who has intentionally taken the stage and will soon revert to 100% passing straight, but I have to say, darling, that exhorting others to "live their best life and be true to themselves" when the risk you are taking with your, let's be honest, marketing stunt, isn't even as risky as walking down the street while black, or being a transwoman going into a gendered bathroom, or even an Iranian woman going bare-headed in public, I have to say, is on the whole, rather more an example of the privilege you're steeped in than the boundaries you're gently leaning on.

You do you, though!
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:54 AM on November 14, 2018 [16 favorites]

but even just a portion in heels is impressive

Yep, and that name. *chef kiss*

I don't have the experience to comment on the other, deeper, more complex aspects of this but having hiked my fair share I'll say that anything that adds a layer of difficulty on top of it is impressive/noteworthy.
posted by RolandOfEld at 5:42 AM on November 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Interestingly enough, seanmpuckett, there's a separate and ongoing discussion in the outdoors community I've seen here and there, about how poor people and people of color often feel shut out of outdoors activities. There was a previous FPP about an African-American woman who thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and discussed her unique reaction to the outdoors, and how her perspective often wasn't addressed in the outdoors narrative. Hell, there has even been criticism against the outdoor clothing industry for not carrying many options for plus size women.

That is to say - you're making very good points, and I just wanted to assure you that they're points that the outdoors community is struggling with too. They ain't fixed the problem by a long shot, but they're in the early stages of figuring out what they can do.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:54 AM on November 14, 2018 [13 favorites]

In related better late than never news, Canada's Mountain Equipment Co-op -- Canada's member-owned outdoor gear retailer -- took a lot of heat for not featuring a representatively diverse spectrum of people in their marketing materials, and recently they ate a pterodactyl-sized portion of crow for this, and have pledged to do better.

I'm hopeful, but in order to make changes not only do we have to push for them with action against government and corporate small-think, we have to publicly perform for them, too. We (meaning people who are outside the standard deviation) have to be seen, and be seen to be seen.

I think it's one of the most important things people with any kind of privilege can do: to be performatively taking risks similar to those other people take simply by existing. We should actively make space, as much as we can, for people with less leverage. I do applaud Pattie Gonia in principle, but there is much, much, more that could be, must be done.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:16 AM on November 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

I want to just clarify that by performative I don't mean sucking attention away from people who deserve and need it and should have it -- I mean that if by default if my appearance is within the standard deviation of -- cis het middle-class white male -- in my normal existence, I have to perform something, do something, wear something, say something, in order to get outside that privilege'd bubble, in order to make more room for people who have less privilege. It's not the only thing I can do, should do, must do, but it is necessary. (I get yelled sometimes even in Toronto for wearing a frigging rainbow hat, seriously, but if they're yelling at me, they're not yelling at someone else.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:22 AM on November 14, 2018

Well, the first to post to instagram about it.

Before I came out I used to go camping. A lot. Because it was the only place I felt safe and like I could get enough privacy. So hiking around in ankle boots with a 3-4" heel and hiking over sand, rocks and boulders was definitely a thing.

True fact: I once ate major crap trying to step from one boulder to the next and forgetting my skirt was too long for the step. I was really confused why my foot suddenly stopped mid-stride and mid-air and couldn't really do anything but go "oh crap oh crap oh crap" as I fell over like a chopped tree and got all banged up on the rocks.
posted by loquacious at 7:42 AM on November 14, 2018 [17 favorites]

oh god loquacious i just want to hug you now
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:45 AM on November 14, 2018 [7 favorites]

“I think Pattie is the voice inside telling people they should just go for it. Live unapologetically.”
It's a clever idea, the guy's cute, he's probably nice, I covet his hoodie, and it's all harmless enough, I guess, but at a moment when queer/trans/non-gender-conforming people are facing more state-sponsored targeted harassment than they've faced in years, reading a write-up that treats all of it like a sub-plot from To Wong Foo ... is generative of some major fucking eye-rolls.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:43 PM on November 14, 2018

Having lived the Scout life from Cubs in third grade to Life Scout at 17 (one below Eagle, no credit given) I am beyond freaking delighted with this dude. Scouting was "deprivation" to a teen, when everybody else was growing their hair out and discovering sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and you had to be a junior adult and focus on community service and some excruciatingly straight behavior. It's part of the oath: "To Be Straight."

I'm glad this Nebraska Eagle found some mountains and some heels, and I hope he has a freaking blast. He's earned it, the hard way.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 5:21 PM on November 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

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