What was your inspiration for the “Parks For All” collection?
Recently, my family explored White Sands and Carlsbad Caverns and were reminded of the environmental, cultural, and historical significance of the National Park Service and their essential work in creating, conserving, and protecting these crucial spaces. We were inspired by the beauty and scale of the dunes and caves themselves.
The juxtaposition of quick, high desert, windswept sand, in motion and sparkling in the sun, against the deliberate paths of water deep in the earth, forming enormous cavities over millions of years… it reminded us of the vast scale and spectrum of experiences that constitute “Nature”, and also to respect and celebrate that spectrum in ourselves and others, whatever the pace.
What about the “Parks For All” message speaks to you? Why is it important?
Historically, the National Park Service protects nature by managing refuge for wildlife and endangered ecologies, and when the Parks Project invited me to collaborate on the “Parks For All” collection for Pride month, I reflected on Stonewall National Monument in Greenwich Village. It was the first U.S. National Monument dedicated to LGBT civil rights history, a memorial to safe spaces held and created for those who follow their own nature, even when it puts them in danger, when it goes against everything they’ve been instructed is natural.
This queering of nature contributes to the collective evolutionary definition of natural. We need access to these spaces if we are to craft a reality where there is no need for sanctuary – because all places, people, and creatures are free.
The spectrum of experience is widening, and we need to do everything we can to cultivate spaces where nature can be fully explored safely and lovingly for all. Nature is Queer! I am thankful to Parks Project for the opportunity to contribute to the longevity of our National Parks, and feel honored and privileged to do so through my art.