Not all heroes wear capes, but do some wear mountain boots?
According to Towleroad, a 28-year-old sport enthusiast and gay activist is climbing the worlds’ tallest mountains to create LGBTQ visibility in even the most unlikely of places.
The tops of the Seven Summits are some of the toughest places to reach on the Earth. These highest mountains on the planet include Everest, Denali, Aconcagua, Vinson, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Mount Blanc, and possibly more depending your definition. One mountain alone typically requires heavy training to reach even remotely close to the top. And yet, one man wants to climb every one.
Dastan “Danik” Kasmamytov is that man and has created the Pink Summits campaign to help him do it. He describes the campaign as “an inspirational campaign for the sake of visibility of LGBT+ all over the world.” And what he means by this is that he’s bringing along rainbow pride flags to each mountain he visits.
“We do this by climbing the highest mountains of each continent … documenting our journey, sharing our experiences, fundraising for local LGBT+ organisations and queer victims of violence, as well as providing mentorship for young queer folks around the world,” as explained by the campaign. “It is not only about raising the rainbow flag on every summit on the list, but also about the need to work together to make the inspirational voices of the LGBT+ communities more visible.”
According to the Bay Area Reporter, Kasmamytov has already visited Mount Elbrus, Mount Kosciuszko, and Mount Kilimanjaro. And he hopes to climb Mount Blanc and Mount Aconcagua by the end of this year.
“Many of the mountains are, unfortunately, dangerous. There are always people every year dying doing the mountaineering. Unfortunately, it’s a reality,” he said. “But for me there is also additional risk for doing it for LGBT visibility.”
After scaling the earlier three mountains, Kasmamytov has received both praise and ridicule. But he says it’s the fact that he’s inspiring others that keeps him motivated.
“I felt so proud, of course, of what I had done, what we achieved going up the mountain, but actually I was also proud of being there with the rainbow flag,” he said about climbing Elbrus. “I was, of course, shivering [in] the cold, but also of the fear of what can happen in the next minutes or next hours. But then it was all OK.”
So with three down and four more to go, Kasmamytov is saying his thanks while praying for continued success. If you would like to support him in his endeavors, you can find more information and a way to donate by going over to his site.