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JackFTwist

travel Meet the Gay Man Who Visited All 419 U.S. National Park Sites

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JackFTwist

Mikah Meyer, a 33-year-old gay man, completed his three-year trek across all 50 U.S. states and five U.S. territories on April 29 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.  The BBC America TV network had a brief interview with Meyer on tonight’s BBC News Summary.  (The following article is from a different source.)

Meet the Man Visiting All 419 National Park Sites

What began as a carpe diem trip has become one of the few representations of visible queerness in the outdoor world

https://www.outsideonline.com/2394474/mikah-meyer-man-visits-all-nps-sites

Note this passage about his difficulty in getting any organization to sponsor his project because he was “gay on Google” and the inventive way he supported the rest of his trip after his only sponsor withdrew its support after the first 11 months.

  • '...in the year leading up to the trip, Meyer took several meetings with marketing officers and CEOs of outdoor brands and nonprofits in search of  sponsors. He found that after promising conversations, the companies would suddenly cut communication. Meyer speculates this was due to being what he calls “gay on Google:” a quick internet search of his name yielded results that indicated he was queer. He did get one outdoors nonprofit to partially support him. But 11 months into that sponsorship, he got a call informing him that his contract would be terminated immediately because he was posting too much LGBT coverage on his blog and social media. (Meyer is not legally allowed to say the name of this nonprofit.) “My worst fears did happen,” says Meyer. “My assumption was, to be outdoorsy in America does not mean to be gay.” After getting dumped, Mikah did his best to mask his queeness on his social media—no rainbow flag, no mention of sexuality, just a guy enjoying the great outdoors—in hopes that such discretion would attract sponsors. But still, no one called.  
  • 'So Meyer got creative. Before the trip, he had been working as a professional singer at the Washington National Cathedral—he has a Master’s in music and voice performance—so he began to perform at churches on the road. He’s now sung at over 150 churches across the states. “I have an entire show now where I show pictures from the parks and my travels and tell stories from the road and sing in-between,” says Meyer. “It’s kind of like a Dolly Parton concert.” And it worked—about 90 percent of Meyer’s funding comes from individuals who hear his stories. The shows kept Meyer’s expedition alive.'

 

Edited by JackFTwist
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