2019 Queer Quest in Australia

Mar 18th, 2019 - Mar 28th, 2019
Ruth Wharton, Pedro McMillian

Nature reminds us that being Queer* is natural and something to be celebrated! Showing up as who we are in our own unique queer form is a celebration of nature's diversity and honors our profound connection to the natural world.

Many earth-based cultures recognize the need for diversity and honor queer community members as gatekeepers to the 'other world', as edge walkers and a source of connection between the community, nature and the mystery. Now is the time to come back to our roots and the gifts that the queer community brings to the world. Connecting deeply to yourself, accepting all of who you are, and bringing your unique queer gifts is both a radical act of rebellion against forces of hate and division, and a radical act of communion with all living things! Join us in circle and under the stars for this ceremonial rite of passage, designed specifically for the LGBTQIA+ community.

This program has been offered in the US for six years and this will be the first time ever offered in Australia! If you are feeling the call, the need to be in queer community and do deep, personal work for yourself, your community and the earth, then this program is right and the time is now. If you have any questions or wish to enroll, please email Pedro at pedro@lostborders.org or local contacts Kiri Bear or Mel Turnbull at either kiribear@gmail.com or turnbull.melissa@gmail.com.

Tuition: Sliding scale $950-$1950 AUD. (Scholarships are available)
Camping fee: $100 AUD
Deposit: $300 AUD to reserve your space

Logistics: You should plan to arrive on the late afternoon/evening of March 17th, before we officially start on March 18th. The ceremony will end by mid-afternoon on March 28th. Before making travel plans, please communicate with Pedro so you won't miss any important time on the land or with the group.

Location/Accommodations: The land is located adjacent to Strathbogie Forest, outside Lima East, Victoria, about a 2.5 hour drive from Melbourne. Plan to bring camping gear and enough food and equipment to be self-sufficient. We request that all participants purchase the vision fast handbook, "The Trail to the Sacred Mountain" available from Lost Borders Press (www.lostborderspress.com) to help with preparation.

Guides: Ruth Wharton and Pedro McMillan started the Queer Quest program at the School of Lost Borders in the US. They both identify as queer.

Ruth Wharton: Is an experienced wilderness guide, mentor, and professional counselor. Ruth has worked extensively with people of all ages in wilderness, residential, and therapeutic settings. She's been a guide and teacher at the School of Lost Borders (schooloflostborders.org) for over 20 years and is deeply committed to re-introducing rites of passage into the world. This woman passionately weaves the mirror of nature through the world around her.

Pedro McMillan: Is the father of two grown children and has been an environmentalist since childhood. An early eco-entrepreneur, he founded and ran a green business for 26 years until selling it in 2016 to focus on rites of passage work. A veteran of many fasts since 1996 he trained and assisted with several programs at the School of Lost Borders before stepping into the role of guide in 2010. He brings a wealth of experience and a poetic and passionate heart to this work.

*We recognize and honor that the word "queer" has been used in the past as a derogatory term and is still hurtful for some in the LGBTQIA+ community. Many LGBTQIA+ organizations and communities have reclaimed the word "queer" and this has been both empowering and uniting of the multiple complex identities within the community. We use the word here as an inclusive term and shortcut for the LGBTQIA+ lettering.

We do not go into the desert to escape

people but to learn how to find them:
we do not leave them in order to have

nothing more to do with them,
but to find out the way
to do them the most good.

Thomas Merton-