Who’s On Top follows a small group of LGBTQ Oregonians whose stories of personal struggles are interspersed with their journey towards Mt. Hood’s summit. The documentary triumphantly challenges the stereotypes and archetypes of mountaineers and adventurers, seeking to carve out a safe space for people of all genders and sexualities. In the opening minutes, the comparison between the struggles LGBTQIA+ folx face and the challenge of summiting a mountain is drawn. “Coming out and climbing Mt. Hood are incredibly similar in the fact that they’re both pretty hard climbs,” says summit hopeful Ryan Stee. At this point, Miley Cyrus’ classic power ballad “The Climb” pops into my head; it would definitely be my soundtrack of choice were I ever to muster up the physical and mental fortitude needed to complete this Herculean task. The metaphor is referred to multiple times throughout the film, as members of the team recount their lived experiences. JANEY WONG
by Janey Wong
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