Queer Adventurers LGBTQ Essay Contest Longlist

A full moon rising above the mountains.

The longlist for the 2022 LGBTQ essay contest is officially here!

This is the first contest and I had no idea what to expect when I sent the call for submissions far and wide (a huge thank you to everyone who shared).

Did you miss the deadline? Subscribe to the email list for early notice of 2023 contest deadlines and themes!

Contest winners coming shortly but for now, here are the lucky writers who made it to the longlist and see contest demographic data.

Meet the 2022 LGBTQ Essay Contest Longlist

We received so many submissions from talented LGBTQ writers offering a unique take on this year’s theme, SHELTER. Thank you to all who submitted – I am so honored to be trusted with your words and to play a role in getting more outdoor queer travel stories into the world!

Congratulations to these 5 writers who made the contest longlist!

  • Helen Campbell, Wild Swim
  • Lilla Fortin, Untitled
  • Jonah Andrew Macharia, Stand Ground
  • Sam Moe, Late Summer
A group of LGBTQ people around a campfire

LGBTQ Essay Contest Demographics

Increasing LGBTQIA representation is a huge part of my mission as a writer. It’s part of why I started this blog and offer opportunities for other voices.

So of course I wanted to track the demographics of contest submitters to understand whose voices we were hearing and who was not contributing.

Here are the results for this year’s essay contest.

LGBTQ affiliation

Submitters self-described their sexuality from the following menu of label options:

  • Lesbian
  • Gay
  • Bisexual
  • Pansexual
  • Queer
  • Straight (no one picked this was was ideal, since this contest was ONLY for LGBTQIA writers)
  • Asexual
  • Other (with option to self describe)

This handy chart shows the LGBTQ identities of contest submitters.

Pie chart showing LGBTQ affiliation data. 42.9 % chose queer, 14.3% chose gay and 42.9% chose lesbian.

Gender identification

85% identified as women, 14% identified as men, and 28.6% identified as gender nonconforming.

This year’s LGBTQ essay contest did not receive any submissions from trans writers, so there’s a growth opportunity for outreach there!


Hispanic: 28.6%
White: 71.4%
Two or more races: 14.3%
East African: 14.3%

Submitters could select their racial identity from a list of 17 terms which included a self-describe option and a prefer not to disclose options – all the terms listed above are ones selected by the individual submitters themselves.


Just under one-third of submitters (28.6%) identity as living with a disability. Disability is another hugely underrepresented area when it comes to representation in general and specifically within outdoor recreation and travel, so it was super exciting to me to get to read the stories of people living with disabilities.

Congratulations again to the writers who made the longlist! I am so excited to bring you their stories.


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