Letter from Amy Wyant
Representation, Courtesy Matters
Over the weekend, the Otsego County Conservation Association received multiple negative, bigoted comments on a Facebook thread that was advertising our Queer Outdoor Adventure Programming.
This is unacceptable behavior. OCCA started the Queer Outdoor Adventure Group to create a space for members of the queer community to come together and enjoy nature in a safe space. Our QOAG encompasses the same outdoor education and nature appreciation programing that all of our other educational programs provide. The only difference is that they are led by and inclusive of LGBTQ+ people.
Many people asked us why we needed a separate group for this purpose, and after seeing the hurtful comments that were posted over the weekend, we are even more secure in our decision to create a separate, safe space for queer community members to enjoy our programming.
Since 1968, OCCA has worked to get ALL people out to enjoy nature. We also believe that being inclusive is a huge part of being part of a community and we will continue to have programing that allows us to do just that.
Executive Director, Otsego County Conservation Association