Throughout the month of June, we’re highlighting organizations and initiatives that advocate for greater outdoor access among the LGBTQ+ community. Today’s feature is Get Out and Trek, a group that has developed an initiative to track how outdoor brands are engaging with the LGBTQ+ community.
Get Out and Trek started as a community group and advocacy organization that leads adventures for LGBTQ+ outdoor enthusiasts all over North America. Its members still do, but the group has also launched a unique and important initiative with its Outdoor Equality Index (OEI), which tracks how outdoor brands are engaging with the LGBTQ+ community.
The OEI is an annual survey that strives to provide “transparency on the outdoor industry’s engagement with the LGBTQ+ community,” with the aim that the industry will use this data to drive strategies around authentic engagement with the queer community—and not just because the LGBTQ+ community represents $1.3 trillion in spending power that has largely been overlooked.
The inaugural survey just closed in May, and findings will be released soon. Major brands such as REI and Patagonia participated, as did nonprofits like American Hiking Society.