Comments

  1. Butch says

    I’ve scuba dived down to the recreational limit with no problem but my fear of heights starts to kick in when I so much as stand on a chair. I respect these folks.

  2. SoSeriouslyY says

    I would love to have done this back before the knees and the hips did the catastrophic fail thing. I love the outdoors. And this looks way, way fun. I am glad they’ve found somewhere that they belong.

  3. Carl says

    This is fantastic, not only for the athleticism but showcasing visibility for gay people, and as a result exposing people to all the various interests/hobbies we have as a community- and who we are as a people.

    I remember it took our gay baseball team and the events we did around our small conservative town for locals to approach us and say how they have accepted gay rights as a result of our helping the local community and how we helped them foster a more open mind.

    Congrats to these folks pictured above!

  4. J. jordan says

    Very cool! And good for them!
    (also surprising no negative comments yet. I’m assuming the debbie downers haven’t yet woken up to throw shade here yet)

  5. Bill says

    @Michael W: it is a lot safer than you think, and risk is not the same as difficulty. It may look scary to fall off of an overhang, but if there is nothing to hit before the rope catches you and you won’t swing into something, you won’t get even a tiny scratch.

    Usually people start on climbs much easier than the ones in the video and they’ll have a rope set up so that, when they fall off, they’ll just hang on it and won’t drop any distance. They’ll do harder climbs, or ones you have to lead (climb without a rope set up above you), as they get better at it.

    Most of the climbs in the New River Gorge are too difficult for beginners, so keep that in mind when watching the video – it was made in an area that appeals mostly to people who have been climbing for some time.

  6. Bill says

    @Scott: my guess is that some of the climbing sequences (including the picture above the video, which looks a bit like one I’ve seen before) are of straight climbers. Impromptu pictures usually just show people’s butts, and it takes a lot of effort to set up a camera in a position where you can look down from a point a bit out from the wall. So they may have used existing footage for that.

    The pictures and video sequences of people at the event itself are almost certainly ones of gay climbers.

  7. says

    @Bill: no, all of the footage was of people in the club, and although we have plenty of straight people in HomoClimbtastic, everyone who’s actually shown climbing in the trailer is lgbt.

    The documentary’s creator, Brian Spiegel, brought a full camera crew with the boom mics and the gigantic cameras, and unless someone’s been slyly recording us in the past without us noticing, it ain’t stock footage.

  8. Bill says

    @Alex – I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a very similar picture to the one Towleroad showed with this article before, but that could be because people had photographed that climb from about the same angle independently and at a different time – I sort of remember a picture but not details such as a climber’s face.

    A full camera crew, which Alex indicated they had, would explain why the climbing in the video didn’t look like ones people normally take. Usually the camera locations are constrained by where a climb goes – otherwise a day of climbing gets turned into a day of setting up cameras.

    There’s even a term for such pictures: the Yosemite butt shot, a reference to all the pictures taken in Yosemite Valley while looking up at a climber, taken either by the climber’s belayer or by a third person at the same location. In a large fraction of these pictures, you can’t really tell how steep the climb is nor even who is doing the climbing. To do better than that, you need some additional climbers – they might climb the route first and then rappel down for the filming or they might climb an adjacent route. Whatever option they pick, it is a lot of additional effort.

  9. TODD says

    @Bill- Like Alex said, all the climbing in the video was taken during the July 2012 homoclimbtastic convention and is of lgbt climbers. For the shot above, Brian climbed to the top of a neighboring route, anchored in, dropped down a rope and hauled up the camera (which we packed in a backpack, surrounded by padding). It took him at least an hour to set up the shot, and when he was ready, I climbed the route to his right (called “Tony the Tiger”). The picture above is from the steep upper part of that climb. Oh, and yes, I’ve been gay for about 28 years and climbing for about 15.

  10. Bill says

    @Todd – I’ve been climbing a lot longer than 15 years. That route’s first ascent was in 1991. There was probably a picture of it, or possibly another climb that looked similar, in a magazine. There’s plenty of time for a lot of pictures to be taken over the years, so there are probably a number of similar pictures out there. You have roughly 80 discernibly different points for the climber to be (the route is 80 feet long), and a small number of reasonable camera locations, so some similar pictures are likely over a 20+ year time frame.

    I was kind of surprised that you’d get a lot of high quality pictures until someone mentioned a full camera crew, mainly because people would generally want to spend as much of their time climbing as possible as most of them would be there for only a short visit. There must have been a lot of planning for the film crew so they would be ready to go when everyone showed up.

  11. TODD says

    Hi Bill,
    agreed! The film crew did amazing work (and really worked hard to capture both the stories and the climbs themselves). Maybe we’ll see you out there in 2013?!

  12. BRIAN says

    Hi guys,
    I’m the director of the feature documentary, “Climbing With Pride.” It’s great to see all these comments. I agree that it’ll be wonderful for people to see LGBT individuals in a context that isn’t readily assumed. Even one of the climbers featured in the movie talks about how the event of Homoclimbtastic helped him realize that there’s a whole spectrum of gay people and you don’t have to fit the stereotype to be gay. To Todd’s point, everything seen in the trailer and movie, me or my two other camera operators shot. And they’re all of hot ass, gay or transgender men and women. Todd is one of the best climbers I know. We had two professional climbers that are out and proud and to not include their amazing abilities withing my project would have been a great tragedy. Anyway, I can’t wait for everyone to see the full documentary. I’m keeping the Climbing With Pride facebook page up to date with any festivals we get into and where and when screenings will be. Thank you for all the interest and I love you Todd and Alex.

  13. says

    comments. I agree that it’ll be wonderful for people to see LGBT individuals in a context that isn’t readily assumed. Even one of the climbers featured in the movie talks about how the event of Homoclimbtastic helped him realize that there’s a whole spectrum of gay people and you don’t have to fit the stereotype to be gay. To Todd’s point, everything seen in the trailer and movie, me or my two other camera operators shot. And they’re all of hot ass, gay or transgender men and women. Todd is one of the best climbers I know. We had two professional climbers that are out and proud and to not include their amazing abilities withing my project would have been a great tragedy. Anyway, I can’t wait for everyone to see the full documentary. I’m keeping the Climbing With Pride facebook page up to date with any festivals we get into and where and when screenings will be. Thank you for all the interest and I love you Todd

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