Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s first minister, graces the cover of Time Magazine’s international edition, earning a spot among ten distinguished “next generation leaders.” This recognition stems from his youthfulness and his groundbreaking role as the inaugural Muslim leader of a Western nation. Alongside him, Time features luminaries like actor Florence Pugh, racing sensation Jamie Chadwick, the captivating drag queen Pattie Gonia, and Ghanaian visual artist Prince Gyasi.

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Who is Pattie Gonia?

Wyn Wiley, also known as Pattie Gonia, is a prominent figure in the world of drag, renowned for their activism in both the environmental and LGBTQ+ spheres, as well as their role as a community organizer.

Originally hailing from Lincoln, Nebraska, Gonia graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, majoring in advertising and public relations in 2014. They have excelled in roles as a creative director and a professional photographer.

Gonia’s foray into drag commenced in early 2018, adopting the persona “Ginger Snap”. However, it was in October of the same year that Pattie Gonia emerged, producing impactful short-form content on Instagram and TikTok, all while in full drag. Their very first Pattie Gonia video, shared on October 3, quickly garnered over 100 million views. The name “Pattie Gonia” cleverly plays on the renowned outdoor clothing brand, Patagonia.

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Pattie Gonia’s activism centers on the intersection of environmental and LGBTQ+ concerns, championing queer inclusivity in the outdoors and environmentalist communities, and advocating for climate change awareness. Euronews aptly coined this form of advocacy as “intersectional environmentalism”.

Beyond their online presence, Pattie Gonia orchestrates real-world hikes and events in support of LGBT+ and environmental causes. They’ve also established a job board tailored for queer outdoor enthusiasts. In January 2022, Wiley co-founded “The Outdoorist Oath”, a nonprofit dedicated to diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental advocacy within the outdoors community.

Pattie Gonia’s collaborative efforts with The North Face in their “Summer of Pride” series in 2022 further solidified their impact. This initiative comprised four community-focused events aimed at bolstering local LGBTQ+ engagement and acceptance.

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In 2020, Pattie Gonia earned a spot in Out magazine’s prestigious Out100 list, celebrating the most influential LGBTQ+ figures. They also received a Shorty Awards nomination in the LGBTQ+ category.

Wiley’s endeavors as Pattie Gonia have not gone unnoticed by the media. Their first music video release was accompanied by an interview with REI in December 2018. In November 2019, REI produced a documentary titled “Dear Mother Nature” centered around Pattie Gonia. This was complemented by a poignant 3-minute spoken word poem video titled “Everything to Lose”. BBC News also featured Pattie Gonia in a video in March 2020, highlighting their impactful work.

Pattie Gonia’s distinctive presence made waves in January 2019 when they attended the Outdoor Retailer trade show in striking all-white drag. Their Halloween costume in October 2022, depicting climate change, drew considerable attention. This wasn’t the first time they used their platform to champion climate causes, having previously showcased outfits made entirely of recycled materials in their TikTok and Instagram content.