Queer Joy Outdoors

Sometimes it can be difficult to find time to unplug from our busy lives, but taking moments to reconnect with nature can be incredibly grounding, not to mention gratifying. We asked some of our community members to give us an insight into their own relationships with nature - whether it brings them solace and a space to heal or provides inspiration in their journeys as Queer Leaders.


How do you make time to connect with the natural world and what kinds of comfort does it bring you?



a photograph of a person wearing a black t-shirt standing in a field, the grass coming up to their chest. They are holding a large circular mirror in front of their face which has the grass reflected in it. The sky behind them is blue and cloudy.


1. CK



"Nature holds me compassionately, openly and unjudgementally.

Everything in nature exists as it is and What a gift to experience reciprocated acceptance.

With each breath of fresh air birthed from my surroundings I observe the gift of aliveness and presence of an unfathomable, abundant, spacious, limitless existence that never ceases.


The freedom to move, explore and discover as I feel wrapped in the loving presence of creation.

I ground and I anchor.

I be and breathe.

The sunlight glistens on the leaves

And I know that it is enough.

I am enough."


2. River Solace



“For me, nature is healing. I feel connected and at one with the planet when I am immersed in its beautiful creations. I go where the rivers flow. My heart is with the mountains, the forests, the ocean. In their embrace, I know I belong.”



3. Ben Pechey



"I live in a rural part of the UK. Before Covid, it was the chip on my shoulder, a burden to bear. Covid ushered in a nature renaissance for me. What had once been an irritant became a salve for my soul. Nature offers me the space to recharge my energy. It allows my queerness to exist in different ways. I may be effervescent and bold in conurbations, but in nature, I am closer to my natural equilibrium - truly connected to my essence. Life is all about balance, and nature for me is my balance aid."



4. Eduardo Gutierrez



"I come from a land without seasons, where a single day can bear witness to nature dancing around heat and cold, dry or pouring; it is a country where nature bursts in the most diverse forms of landscapes you can possibly imagine. As a queer person, and as an academic hoping to contribute to peacebuilding in the world, this is a fantastic source of inspiration: nature is a great example of how diversity and harmony can go hand in hand. Nature allows creativity, both spontaneity and order, as well as beauty and chaos, and I like having that in my life. Nature grounds me in myself and the world - and that is a powerful form of peace!"



5. Tatum Karmen Swithenbank



"As I don’t follow a religion, I have always found my sanctuary among nature. The relentless machine of capitalism works hard to separate us from simply being. Nature tenderly forces me to be present, to see and feel the roots of existence. Even living in the city, there are signs of nature persisting, and it reminds me that blooming accrues even in tough environments."



6. Suresh Ramdas



“Nature has always had a calming effect on me, be it when I’m in the forests or mountains or by the water. I feel fresh, free, happy and energised. Most importantly, I become one with nature, as nature is pure and authentic."


7. Raga D'Silva



Life is beautiful. But, life is life. No two days are alike. Some days are extremely challenging. My writing, hosting and corporate talks keep me super busy. So, I make sure I keep a date with nature often. I hug trees, I play with leaves, I smell the flowers and take it all in. Nature makes me feel that it's great to be alive. Nature grounds me.



8. Ariadne Ribeiro




“My connection with nature resets every morning, when I take a deep breath looking at the first sunshine to renew my strength and hope to move forward.”