This piece by Narinda Heng was cross-posted at Girls Like Giants and Racialicious. Narinda discusses navigating gender, class, sexual orientation and race as a low-income, queer Southeast Asian woman involved in rock climbing, and how while discussions are happening in some spaces, others in the climbing community still prefer to think of climbing as a place where one can leave one’s identities at the door:
… So I understand why Guidoprincess said this [in a comment thread]:
I think the reason many people, including myself, find this offensive is that we turn to climbing exactly to avoid worthless BS like this. While many other public forums are full of this “racial landscape navigation” nonsense, climbing is a pure activity where everyone can just chill the f-ck out.
The thing is, for me, it’s not nonsense. I navigate my race/sex/class everywhere, all the time, and telling me to “chill the f-ck out” is like telling me to perform a lobotomy on myself. I can’t “chill the f-ck out” because there’s a lot more in play when I’m trying to get into the “pure” part of the activity.