Minnesotan promotes LGBTQ inclusion in outdoor culture through adventure

Mikah Meyer's goal is to promote LGBTQ inclusion in the outdoors, inspired by his love for Minnesota's great outdoor culture.

A Minnesotan with an undying love for outdoor adventure is using his passion to promote LGBTQ inclusion in outdoor culture.

Every other day, Mikah Meyer hops on a bike to go for a spin to train for his next expedition into the great outdoors.

After traveling to every National Park to honor his dad who passed away before he got the chance to retire, Meyer ran across Minnesota last fall to celebrate the launch of his nonprofit "Outside Safe Space" which promotes LGBTQ inclusion in the outdoors.

"There are often people in the Twin Cities bubble who feel they can be their authentic selves, but when they go to outdoor and rural spaces, they feel they can’t be," Meyer said.

It took him 38 days to make the 210-mile running trip from the South Dakota border to the Stillwater Lift Bridge. He slept in a donated Winnebago along the way.

When he was done, Meyer started preparing to run across the state of Mississippi. Sometimes he dressed in an Elvis jumpsuit, other times as a unicorn. No matter his attire, he had the same mission in mind.

He says, however, the response from Mississippi residents was not as positive as it was in Minnesota.

Now, Meyer is planning to bike across Oregon in May, taking his message of diversity and inclusion to the West Coast.

"Anxious is the right word," he said. "There are tons of exciting parts about it, but projects like this take tons of coordination and I’m still figuring that out."

When it comes to enjoying natural spaces, everyone can go along for the ride.

"The ultimate goal is to help everyone feel like they are welcome in these spaces in particular to help LGBTQ people feel like they can enjoy our great outdoors like anyone else," he said.