Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Committee Chair/Advisor

Lauren Duffy

Committee Member

Stephen Lewis

Committee Member

Christopher Busey

Committee Member

Aby Sene-Harper


Objective. The purpose of this project was to learn about the lived experiences of outdoor professionals who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two Spirited, Pansexual, Intersex, Asexual, Plus (LGBTQ2SIA+ or LGBTQ+). In this study, we are gifted with stories that delve into queer identity in the outdoors, with the understanding that not all LGBTQ+ individuals experience the outdoors in the same way. Specifically, this study considers these experiences across temporal dimension of childhood and adulthood, the defining event(s) of coming out, the role of community, and reflections on outdoor recreation professions. Methods. A critical narrative approach was used to promote depth in participant response and to acknowledge the researcher’s role as part of the process while answering three research questions that explore LGBTQ+ experiences in outdoor recreation. Creative Analytic practice was used as method to create a queer space within the work. Six individuals were interviewed in this critical narrative project. Each participant was encouraged to guide the study through their own individual expression (Merriam & Grenier, 2019; Polkinghorne, 2007). Discussion. The data were presented using non-fiction prose as a form of creative analytic process. This approach was used to invite the reader to engage directly with participant narratives within the framework of this paper. The intersection of queer identity and outdoor identity was explored. This study makes way for future research to improve that may seek to support queer identities in outdoor recreation.



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