The non-profit environmental organization shared a video for its new campaign, “Birds Tell Us: The Song of the Meadowlark.” A video spot shows Gonia dressed in an elaborate bird costume and performing interpretive dance.
This #PrideMonth, Audubon partnered with drag queen and intersectional environmentalist Pattie Gonia to bring you #BirdsTellUs: The Song of the Meadowlark, a message of hope for the future of our planet as we face climate change—if we choose to listen: https://t.co/RGHzJTXGgS pic.twitter.com/UxNW066NL4
— Audubon Society (@audubonsociety) June 13, 2022
“For years, Audubon has reminded the world that by observing how climate change impacts birds, we can more clearly see how it has — and will — impact us,” the campaign description says. “Birds tell us every day that the world is changing both through their songs and the songs they no longer sing due to habitat loss and global temperature rise. Will you choose to listen?”
The site goes on to say Gonia partnering with Audubon “won’t come as a surprise” to anyone who’s been following them, as the drag queen “is an environmentalist who uses her platform to highlight issues around climate change and inclusivity in the outdoors.”
“I’m genuinely so inspired by birds and together we could reach new audiences and queering the environmental space,” Gonia said when asked about the partnership. “Collaboration is beautiful and rare. It takes so much time and energy, but so many new things are possible.”
“It’s so amazing to be able to highlight LGBTQ+ people,” Gonia continued. “But it’s a necessary step for an organization like Audubon to say, ‘This is what it looks like to diversify this space.’”
Audubon email marketing manager Nick Mason said the campaign is about highlighting LGBTQ people, who he says have stayed hidden too long.
“Getting to hear about why Pattie does what Pattie does really touched me,” Mason said. “There’s a long history of queer people inhabiting spaces that are hidden. That are in the dark, that are in a basement or in a club. They are wonderful, inviting spaces that we can come to own and claim and make a bright and shiny thing. But it is dark and it is hidden from the world at large.”
He continued, “So to extend a hand [to queer people] and say ‘come outside with me’ is a collective invitation to really and truly come out. You know what I’m saying? That invitation is saying ‘I don’t want to restrict myself to spaces that are hidden. I want to be outside, with you.’”
Gonia agreed, saying LGBTQ individuals shouldn’t always live in cities. “Nature can be a part of your lives as queer people. You don’t have to run to a big city to find yourself!” the drag queen concluded.