First Openly Gay Man To Conquer Mount Everest Did It For At-Risk LGBT Youth


I watched the horizon until the sun had fully risen. Tibet bathed in a golden halo. Nepal, on the other side. The triangle shape of Everest cast a massive shadow. I sat down on the rounded peak, stared at the flags, and still in shock, I sobbed. I had done it. It was so worth it, good times and bad, and I knew I was there for every one of us who’d experienced discrimination. I threw the flags up in the air and watched the wind take them and their prayers to every corner of the Earth.”

“On that windy morning on the summit of Mt. Everest, I saw the lives of these people — many of them LGBT youth — reflected in the beauty of this natural setting. I had summited Mt. Everest in honor of other LGBTQ youth who face discrimination and harassment, and also to send a message to others who might be a sexual minority or any other minority in their community: You can do it. Find your Everest. Find it and climb it and stand on top and exult in the sun rising over the vast horizon.”

Queer mountaineer Cason Crane describes climbing the world’s highest mountain to raise awareness and funds for LGBTQ youth on The Huffington Post. Crane committed to climbing Everst, as well as the highest peak on every continent, after the suicides of one of his high school friends and Tyler Clementi. You can learn more about Cason and donate money at The Rainbow Summit Project.