Admin: Beyond the Binary: LGBTQ Equity in Parks and Recreation

Thursday, January 25 | 1:35 - 2:50p.m.

Session Description:
Elyse Rylander, Founder of OUT There Adventures and co-organizer of the first ever LGBTQ Outdoor Summit will draw from her experience as one of a very small number of organizations focused on bridging the gap between the LGBTQ community and outdoor recreation/stewardship. Participants will gain a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities the LGBTQ community faces. We will discuss language, work through activities, and explore risk management tools for participants to notice and interrupt microagressions. Each member of the group will identify ways in which they can improve their ability to support and affirm members of the LGBTQ community through their positions at work and in the community.

Need for Session:
Time spent in pursuit of physical fitness and outdoor recreation have positive benefits not only physically, but socially and emotionally. Many members of the LGBTQ community self-select out of these opportunities for fear of isolation and persecution. Through taking specific steps that equitably change policy, education and culture, mainstream recreation programs can learn how to make their programs and facilities more LGBTQ affirming and open these opportunities up to this under-represented demographic.


Elyse Rylander

Elyse Rylander holds a B.A. in Communication Arts, Gender Studies, and LGBT Studies from the University of Wisconsin. She is also a Master of Arts in Adventure Education candidate at Prescott College. Elyse has been an outdoor educator and guide since 2006, is an American Canoe Association Sea Kayaking Instructor, Wilderness First Responder, and has training in motivational interviewing, trauma informed care, behavior management and de-escalation, and positive youth development. Elyse is also known for her unwavering work ethic and passionate defenses of the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin cheddar.