Gayish: “No camp?” The Gays trade bitching for pitching (tents), as study shows more LGBTQ+ folk than ever are going camping

Author: Gayish

Gayish on GLUE: Two homosexuals, unpacking queer stereotypes one at a time.

While you read, listen to to the episode above or at the bottom of this article.

When you imagine gays going on vacation, what do you picture?


Do places like Fire Island, Palm Springs, or Spain jump to mind? In spite of our supposed love for luxury hotels, wild nightclubs, and plenty of amenities; an increasingly popular vacation for queer people is camping.


gay family camping
Image: shutterstock


Unsurprisingly, 2020 saw a big increase in camping overall, likely a result of Covid precautions.

In North America and Canada, LGBTQ+ people made up 12% of the total campers across the year, according to the 2021 North American Camping Report, which is double what it was back in 2015.

That’s a huge shift, and one that defies stereotypical expectations of our community.


It may not be a surprise that a good number – 35% – of those LGBTQ+ campers were glamping.

However, what’s surprising is that this is in line with the overall percentage of glampers: 36% of all campers went glamping.

In other words, LGBTQ+ were no more or less likely to go glamping than the average person. We’re no more finicky than the average person, just assumed to be so by the rest of society.


In addition, for queer people, camping is often a family event. The study found that children in same-sex households were more likely to go camping than children in other households.


Happy lesbian couple and kids relaxing at campsite in woods.
(image: Getty)


Diversity in camping is increasing, not just with LGBTQ+ people, but among people of color as well.

However, as the report points out, “there is still a lot of work to do in offering a more welcoming environment” for groups who are, according to statistics, less inclined to go camping.


Venture Out Project is one of the organizations working to improve camping – and the world – for LGBTQ+ people.

Across the US, they offer wilderness trips for the queer and trans communities, including options catering to substance-free or plus-sized folx, to help more of the community have access to the outdoors.


Yes, the Hulu movie Fire Island may make it seem like it’s where all the gays go when they need to escape, and sure there’s some truth to it. But there’s a huge variety to the interests and activities of queer people—yes, including regular old outdoor tent camping—and that’s where we need to break down the stereotypes.


To learn more about camping, including the history of homoerotic undertones to camping and the drama of gay campgrounds, take a listen to the most recent episode of Gayish on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or your favorite podcatcher.

Or listen below!