As an American cultural minority community naturists must identify, address, discuss, and reconcile any overt or de-facto policy mandates at the national level which affect us locally. We must initiate/continue the discussion with the U.S. National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior to recognize that naturism is a cultural minority practice traditionally enjoyed in natural settings such as national parks, beaches, lakes, streams, forests, hiking trails, and other secluded, sparsely populated public reserve lands.
Many Native African and Native American peoples, as well as indigenous peoples throughout the world historically lived harmonious, mostly naturist lifestyles in such settings, before foreign cultural invasions. Prominent American naturists include historical individuals such as Benjamin Franklin, John Quincy Adams, Lyndon Johnson, and many others past and present (see Famous Naturists below). The practice of naturism harms no one, and the fact that it may offend today’s widely held prejudices and majority sensitivities is no excuse for its unconstitutional criminalization and unfair stigmatization.
There was a time in our nation when the mere sight of members of a different cultural minority enjoying public areas was considered offensive by the majority. There were laws passed and signs posted to prevent minority enjoyment of public facilities and stigmatize their public presence. Thankfully we have come a long way since then. We still have much further to go.
Naturism is one of the ways we may politically express sovereignty over our own bodies and commonality with fellow human beings. An argument may be made that silence and obscurity protects naturists and nudists from broader censure and restrictions, however this is ultimately an argument based in fear and one which does not allow us to move beyond current policies under which naturists are quietly banned, criminalized, stigmatized, discriminated against (in public funding and land use), censored, openly mis-portrayed, marginalized, and reduced in numbers and influence.
We must question who benefits from the psychological masks, body shame, social divisions, violent conflicts, and economic costs enabled and enforced by the mainstream American cultural requirement of perpetual fabric body concealment. Now is an opportune and necessary time to bring the discussion of wholesome, healthy, responsible, naturist cultural and recreational practices on designated public lands out of the closet and onto the national agenda, where are set in place the policies which affect us all.
We must reconnect that which has been disconnected.
Ubuntu, Inlakesh, Namaste, Agape, One Love.
Naturist Action Committee
American Civil Liberties Union
U.S. National Park Service
U.S Department of the Interior
The American Association for Nude Recreation
The Naturist Society
International Naturist Federation