After Alpinist 72 went to press, we found that reproductions we had printed of historical images from a 1970s-era magazine appeared to contain some offensive and anti-LGBTQA+ writing. As a result of lapses in communication, caused in part by struggles to adapt to a remote workflow during the pandemic, no one from our editorial staff had reviewed those images before we went to press, and we were unaware of the content of the words (which none of the staff had read). Had anyone reviewed those images, they would not have been included, and the history of that era would also have been presented differently.
For years, Alpinist has been committed to amplifying voices of contributors of underrepresented groups in the outdoor media landscape. Printing anti-LGBTQA+ speech not only goes against our responsibility to our readers, our contributors and the climbing community, but to the commitments to diversity, inclusion and equity that Alpinist attempts to uphold.
We sincerely regret our oversight in printing these images, and apologize for the harm they may have caused. We are taking steps to ensure that this kind of oversight will not occur again in the future. We are also planning to redouble our own efforts to support inclusion of LGBTQA+ climbers in our communities and our publications. We will be making a donation to OUT There Adventures, an outdoor adventure organization dedicated “to fostering positive identity development, individual empowerment and improved quality of life for queer young people through professionally facilitated experiential education activities.” In addition, we will be donating to Get Out And Trek (GOAT), “a community for LGBTQ outdoor adventurists” that recently launched the LGBTQ+ Outdoor Equality Index(TM) to help companies and organizations improve their diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, and to provide “much needed transparency on the outdoor industry’s engagement with the LGBTQ+ community.” We will be taking the LGBTQ+ Outdoor Equality Index(TM) ourselves as a guide to engaging more deeply in change in both within our own company and in the industry as a whole.
The outdoors should be a place where everyone can find opportunities for adventure, refuge, self-discovery, beauty, immersion and meaning–without having to fear exclusion or harassment from other people for reasons of their identity. The concept of the “freedom of the hills” will not be truly resonant until it is wholly available to all.