The trans Pride flag was planted on the summit of Antarctica’s tallest mountain, Vinson Massif, by trans climber Erin Parisi.
Dedicating her achievement to “the resilience of the trans community” which “welcomed me when I had no hope,” Parisi said trans people “have shown me that it is better to be visible and free, than to live in voluntary exile, and that the stigma withers when we visibly embrace our truth ”.
Parisi added, in an Instagram Publish: “We have been pushed down, often even beaten, and faced all kinds of cold throughout our lives – our resilience allows us to rise to the top. “
She reached the 4,892-meter summit of the Vinson Massif on December 26 after leaving for Antarctica on December 18.
Reaching the highest point in Antarctica is one of the several years attempt to be the first openly trans woman to cross the “Seven Summits”: a mountaineering challenge to climb the highest point of each of the seven continents of the planet.
Antarctica’s Vinson Massif was Parisi’s fifth peak of the Seven Summits: it still has Mount Denali, Alaska, and Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, to hike.
Talk to RoseNews in July 2020, when she reached four of the seven summits, Parisi also spoke of resilience when thinking of climbing Mount Everest as an openly trans mountaineer: “When I look at Everest, I really see it as our way of doing it. ‘to be resilient, and to show this story of strength, recovery and resilience.
She also described the ascent of Mount Elbrus in Russia in June 2018. She did not hoist a trans flag at the top – the rainbow flag of pride is considered anti-family propaganda in Russia, and Erin knew she couldn’t cope with two weeks in a Russian prison – but she made a “T” symbol with her hands up.
“This T is kind of my little rebellion where it’s like, you know, I’m trans and I’m on top of this mountain, the highest point in Europe, and that’s what I am.”
In addition to the summit of the Vinson massif in 2021, Parisi climbed Aconcagua in Argentina in 2019; Mount Elbrus in Russia, in 2018; Mount Kilimanjaro from Tanazania, on the occasion of International Women’s Day (March 8) in 2018; and Mount Kosciuszko in Australia, also in 2018.
For every summit, Parisi picks up a trans pride flag – the pink, white and blue flag designed by a trans navy veteran Monique helms – to plant at the top.
Helms is aware of Parisi’s mission: “She said it was her lifelong dream to see her sit on top of Mount Everest. I made a commitment to Monica to bring a trans flag to the top of Everest.