June is Pride Month.
Here at the Women's Climbing Symposium we are always proud and always allied with the LGBTQ+ community (not just in June!), however this felt like a particularly good time to share some relevant articles written by members of the LGBTQ+ climbing community that we have enjoyed reading and feel are important to spotlight and share.
If you have read any articles or have access to resources you think would be useful for the wider women's climbing community, in any climbing related topic, please contact us at:
LGBTQ+ Month: Truth and understanding in the climbing community
by Be Fuller, Volume1 Climbing
"Falling in love with a woman was not part of my plan…falling in love with a member of my paraclimbing team was absolutely not part of my plan! I’ve had to dig real deep, go through hell and say goodbye to the life I had to understand the truth ... My hope is that my openness around this subject will help climbers and many more to free their minds and find happiness and peace in themselves."
Queer representation in climbing
by Helen Astle, The Climbing Hangar
"Historically, climbers such as Geoffrey Young and John Menlove-Edwards were widely accepted as gay – even at a time when homosexuality was illegal it was relatively accepted in climbing circles. So why is it that, over 100 years later, and more than 50 years since homosexuality was legalised in England, LGBT climbers are still so underrepresented?"
I looked for homophobia in climbing and this is what I found
by Tanya Pluth, Climbing.com
"Many folks in the climbing community say that gay-ness doesn’t matter to them, that they don’t even think about it. But the truth is, I want it to matter. I want people to think about it ... it really matters to me that you care that I’m gay — that you care and stand with me, and be willing to tie into the other end of the rope to see what happens next."
Why do we need a queer night?
by Roxy Barry, The Climbing Academy
"For the LGBTQ+ community, this is a question that doesn’t need asking. Those unfamiliar with LGBTQ+ issues usually respond to these topics in a similar manner: “why segregate yourselves”, “this stuff shouldn’t matter – we’re just climbers.” These comments come from people who usually haven’t had to worry about feeling ostracised or drained from navigating sports (or life) as a queer person. We live in a world where heterosexuality and cis-gender is the assumed ‘norm’. To challenge (or correct) these assumptions can be scary.
Upcoming we'll be releasing a list of LGBTQ+ friendly climbing clubs and social nights. If you know of a club or social night which should be featured in the directory please get in touch so we can ensure it's included and shared out to more LGBTQ+ climbers across the UK.