When the news dropped in March that people were getting sick from this mysterious virus, cities were shutting down since no one knew how it spread, and full-on panic hit the United States. Our wedding wasn’t exactly on the top of our list of concerns, but as time went on and people settled into the social distancing scene, we came to the realization that the responsible thing for us to do was cancel our wedding and reception.
Just because society sees my gender as “outside the box” doesn’t mean my trail life is unusual compared to the next person. Nature doesn’t care where I use the restroom, as long as its away from a water source and off-trail, of course. The animals I come across do not ask where I fit on the gender binary scale. Sure, other people I come across might be confused at first and require some reassurance, but hiking and backpacking have become my escape from the binary—a place where I can exist without question; a safe-haven for my transgendered body.
Nature doesn’t care about our gender, how we dress or what bathroom we use; nature provides us a safe space where we can be free to live without being evaluated, and we can be ourselves without judgment. The outdoors lifts our anxieties of existing in a binary gendered world, and shows us how beautiful the world truly is.