They / Them: One Climber’s Story

For Lor Sabourin, climbing is more than a sport, it’s a way of exploring identity and building resilience

Feature type Video

Published Oct 12, 2021

Base editorial team
BASE editorial team BASE writers and editors who live and breathe adventure every day. We love adventure storytelling as much as we love adventure itself.

For Lor Sabourin, climbing is more than a sport, it’s a way of exploring identity and building resilience in the face of adversity. After falling in love with climbing at a gym in Detroit, Michigan, as a young climber, they split their time between competitive climbing and exploring sandstone crags in the southeast.

I was introduced to climbing when I was about 12 years old. I started to realise it was a powerful resource for learning how to deal with stress, learn how to push the edge of my comfort zone and gain the resources that I needed to build a supportive community,’ says Lor. ‘Climbing has this amazing opportunity to provide safe space for gender non-conforming people to participate in sports because our sport isn’t as highly gendered as others, especially in the outdoor realm. These types of sports are really special at a time when so many trans people are being pushed out of sports, as they can create a framework for showing how we can be more inclusive.’

They/Them follows Lor, into the sandstone canyons of northern Arizona, on a journey to piece together one of the hardest and most inspiring routes of their life. By embracing the strength in vulnerability, Lor has found the space to thrive and build a climbing community that others like themself can call home.

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