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This is part 2 of our special Portraits of Allyship series, celebrating the people doing the all-important behind-the-scenes work making the outdoor industry more welcoming and inclusive. Read the complete series here. And join us in celebrating the allies in your life under the #InspiringAllyship hashtag.
Most of us are well acquainted with social media sensation Pattie Gonia. But Wyn Wiley, the man behind the drag queen, is quick to point out that Pattie would be nowhere without the three women that make up his team: Jenny Dugan, Katie Nash, and Dayna Turnblom. “Allyship is collaboration; it’s community. It is better together. And it is everyone doing the work that’s available to them,” says Wiley.
“What are different forms of your privilege or your capital that you can give? Is it your money? Is it your time? Is it your voice? Is it a skill?” Wiley often calls out the idea of “personal capital,” referring to the diversity of ways any given person can practice allyship.
Case in point: Katie Nash is Pattie’s hair and makeup artist. On a recent Instagram post, Pattie commented, “I love how you use your art to help other people do their art.”
On finding your personal capital
“Hair and makeup—you could easily argue, isn’t an obvious way to ally. You might never think of how this can impact others or yourself,” says Nash. “My work with Pattie has given me a lot more confidence to have difficult conversations with people who don’t share my beliefs.”
“We can only have so much impact by ourselves. Everyone needs to give a little bit more,” says Dugan, team Pattie Gonia’s operations master. She once focused on diversifying the outdoors by getting more women and kids from her community outside. She now knows how she can practice allyship beyond her immediate communities too.
For Turnblom, talented photographer, designer, and Pattie’s creative partner, it’s essential to practice allyship because “it makes life so much richer to share it with so many different communities and to experience and understand more life perspectives.” Could anyone disagree?
“We are able to have honest conversations and be vulnerable working through conflict, calling each other out or in,” says Turnblom.
“Wyn and Pattie constantly check in: Am I missing something? What is another perspective we could consider?” says Dugan. “Sometimes it’s time to call Teresa [Baker] and ask her what to do. Or Jose [Gonzales], or one of the many other people we have relationships with. Because the four of us can only go so far.”
On giving and receiving
“Allyship shouldn’t be thought of as some selfless act just for the allied. It’s good for you and your family and everybody around you,” says Nash.
“When you’re doing the work, it really adds up and makes a huge impact that is reciprocated. You’re learning as you’re giving, and you’re getting as you’re giving,” says Dugan.
Are you moved and impacted by people that you consider allies? Celebrate them on social media and use #InspiringAllyship to join the conversation. Let’s show each other what allyship can be.