In the beginning, Homo Climbtastic was 100% male–that was because the first trip was me and four other guys, including current dictators C-Pow and Chavez, tromping through the West Virginia woods. Later, and we had perhaps the most success at our last New River Gorge convention, women turned out and turned it up. Still, their numbers haven’t reached the volume of men present.
Where there’s more men, they bring more men friends, and the scales dip in one direction through inertia alone, so we actively recruit women in our advertising to keep the ratios from going completely out of whack. I do this partly out of self-interest; a sausage fest sounds nice on paper, but it really just makes for a boring party, and I know my queer women friends feel similarly about clam cook-offs, so we’re in this BBQ pit together, friends.
But at the end of the day, (and this is becoming more true as the group grows larger) the inclusiveness of what we say in our advertising can’t overcome the major barrier–women in the field advertising. The guys, since inception, have been excited to play whack-a-mole with every gay dating web site internet forum, posting press releases about the trips to bring in anybody who knows how to give a soft catch. Sometimes I run across things posted by guys I’ve never heard of encouraging people to meet them there.
Thus, I am sounding the call to arms: we are getting more women involved, and we’re doing it now. Which means you. Assuming you either have a vagina or are making progress toward acquiring one, I, Alex Rowland, spiritual leader of Homo Climbtastic, am vesting you with diplomatic authority to post our press releases far across the internet, or, better, write or tailor your own.
You’ll have to caution them with the requirements of joining, which are posted at http://homoclimbtastic.com/join/ but that’s pretty much it. The great thing about posting everywhere is that it gives you a reason to meet people, awesome rock climbers nearby perhaps, who you wouldn’t have met otherwise. Direct them to join the Facebook group or to sign up for our July 14-18, 2011 convention at the New River Gorge in West Virginia.
I can assure you, we (HC men and women both) are actively working in various other ways to keep this from turning into some lame gym bunny circuit party with sports on the side and a poster that looks like it belongs under a car windshield wiper. But the war cannot be won on leadership alone! You have to get out there, leave shyness behind, and proclaim, “Ladies, we’re gonna crash this HC convention like no queer climbing convention has ever been crasheded before!”
There are other queer athletic institutions which are almost entirely male and which have no equivalent group for women, thereby leaving women in the lurch if they want to commune with other queer people–those trains left their stations without all the cars attached. So now’s the time to get everyone on board, and we’re all determined to make it happen. We just need you. Get it, girl.