Drag queen dresses as tree in US senate – and gets endorsed by AOC herself

Drag star and political activist Pattie Gonia has made sure that lawmakers can see the forest for the trees, during a meeting to help combat deforestation.

The drag artist was spotted in the senate basement, wearing a tree-inspired outfit during a legislative session on Tuesday (16 April).

After Bloomberg correspondent Steven Dennis posted a picture of Pattie, and was seemingly confused by the outfit, Democrat congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, known to many as AOC, realised he was barking up the wrong tree.

“That’s not just someone, that’s a queen,” former RuPaul’s Drag Race judge AOC said.

“I know Pattie Gonia when I see her and y’all just aren’t put on to their genius yet. Wonderful artist and really impressive work in climate, LGBTQ+ advocacy and racial justice.”

Speaking to PinkNews, Pattie confirmed her presence in the senate, saying that she was there to meet with lawmakers and discuss an amendment to help prevent forests being chopped down.

Pattie Gonia smiling while wearing a tree-inspired outfit.
Pattie Gonia served natural realness with an outfit designed to address deforestation in the US. (Getty)

“Right now, 370,000 acres of mature and old-growth forests are on the chopping block,” she said. “I was on the hill, dressed as an old-growth tree, meeting with lawmakers to encourage them to do the right thing by our forests and recommend a Forest Plan amendment that protects [them] from destruction.”

A proposed amendment to protect the nation’s old and mature forests was made by the US Department of Agriculture last December. If passed, it would help amend 128 forest-land management plans to “conserve and steward old-growth forest conditions on national forests and grasslands nationwide”.

Pattie first revealed her outfit in an Instagram post on 2 April, saying that the look was “giving tree” and also “giving f***d up because this is what your government is doing to your forests”.

She told PinkNews: “In the US, the Forest Service was created to see our forests as a crop for harvest. I want to encourage the Forest Service to change into protecting our forests which are one of the best climate solutions.

“They sequester carbon from our atmosphere, they protect our watersheds and they are home [to] thousands of species. All we have to do is to leave our forests alone.”

Pattie Gonia speaking outside of the Capitol building.
Activist Pattie Gonia has called on the Forest Service to turn over a new leaf. (Getty)

She went on to say: “Plus, someone had to serve a look in those hallways. Everyone else’s outfits were boring and people look so sad. The tree put a smile on people’s faces. Well, everyone but Republicans.”

The White House’s chairperson of environmental quality, Brenda Mallory, has said forests “absorb carbon dioxide equivalent to more than 10 per cent of our nation’s annual greenhouse gas emissions”, adding: “Under president Biden’s leadership, our administration is acting to conserve and restore old-growth forests so nature can continue to be a key climate solution.”

Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack also commended the proposal, saying forests are a vital part of the ecosystem and a “special cultural resource.”