Be Wildly You with Pattie Gonia


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In 2018, Wyn Wiley packed a pair of high heeled boots in his backpack for a trip on the Continental Divide Trail and Pattie Gonia, the first backpacking queen, was born.


Pattie Gonia is an outdoor inspired drag queen and activist. The brain child of Wyn Wiley, a talented photographer and Eagle Scout from Nebraska, Pattie rocks her platform boots to hike, ski and now surf her way through Mother Nature’s most beautiful settings. She’s become an example of how to be wildly you, no matter what.

When I first saw her on Instagram, I wanted to reach out. Her message was not only wild and fun, but it was thought provoking, made me laugh and feel good about myself. I also appreciated that she features other people in the LGBTQ+ community and people of color having an impact on the outdoors, and addresses topics like inclusion, sustainability and how we can be more accepting of ourselves and others.

I invited Pattie to come surfing with me and the Surf Divas in La Jolla, California and do her very first podcast in San Diego. After a four hour surf session and video shoot (which you can follow along on our Instagram account), we dive into an array of topics.

We cover everything from the creation of Pattie Gonia, how she’s built such a huge community so quickly, what it was like to have some serious stars reach out, how she deals with haters, coming out and how to be wildly you, no matter what.

*Just a note, we get pretty passionate in this conversation and there is some not-so-kid-friendly language. 

Listen to this episode if:

  • You follow Pattie Gonia.
  • You want to get outside and be entertained.
  • You are interested in activists who make a difference and how to build community.
  • You’ve had to deal with internet trolls.
  • You want to know what it’s like to surf in platform boots and heels.
  • You want to be more okay being wildly you and owning who you are.

You can find more episodes of Wild Ideas Worth Living on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you listen.


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