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Who's on Top? LGBTQs Summit Mt. Hood
Genre: Documentary, LGBTQ, Mountaineering
Duration: Feature Length
Release Date: Winter 2019
“Who’s on Top? LGBTQs Summit Mt. Hood” is the emotional story of members of the LGBTQ community who challenge stereotypes about gender and sexuality and demonstrate their diverse journeys in overcoming physical and figurative mountains.
Gisella is a transgender woman of color from the small town of Hood River, Oregon. As a child, she never gave up being who she really was regardless of her strict Catholic family and what people may have thought of her. Having overcome so many obstacles, she now shares her story with the world, inspiring others to follow their dreams and to be happy with who they are. Gisella’s motto: “love yourself and the universe will put the right people in your life.”
Patrick resides in Sisters, OR. As a rock climber and wilderness explorer, Patrick spends most of his days traveling out of the back of his 1987 Toyota pickup truck on what he likes to call his “endless pursuit of dust”. He grew up on the Jersey shore escaping his angsty, closeted teenage life by wandering the dirt roads of the Pine Barrens. Those experiences in the wild left a mark on him and he has been seeking out adventure, and a deeper understanding of himself and the natural world ever since. When he isn’t off traveling, you can find Patrick climbing at his local crag Smith Rock, wandering around Central Oregon national forests, writing about his adventures or consuming copious amounts of his favorite foods – burnt broccoli and pizza.
Hailing from the Midwest, this Chicago-born queer traded in skyscrapers for cedar trees in 2008 and wasted no time exploring all the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Taylor’s passion for the mountains fills both her work and her play. She is the Outdoor Programs Manager and Lead Guide for the Mount St. Helens Institute, and a volunteer climb leader for Post 58. She has led teams up more than 40 peaks, ranging from Chilean Patagonia to the North Cascades, including seven first ascents in the Canadian Selkirks. When she isn’t climbing, she can be found tearing up the dance floors of blues, swing, and salsa clubs, or cooking in her Portland home. Taylor is most excited when she is leading others and showcasing the glory of the backcountry, and she is excited to share her mountaineering experience with the cast and crew of Who's On Top?
Shanita is an intuitive artist with a passion and focus in healing arts, energy medicine, yoga, and nature. She uses visual art as a meditative practice for deep healing, spirituality and divine play. With family roots in South Carolina, Shanita grew up spending quality time in the garden, climbing trees, playing in the ocean, drawing flowers and beautiful landscapes, and going on outdoor bike adventures until sunset. This connection and relationship with nature which began in childhood has continued to deepen and expand to new levels. Shanita believes that by deepening an understanding of the root cause of the issues plaguing our environment, she can help bring into fruition fact-based solutions and actions that we can all achieve on a personal, local and global level. As a self-proclaimed “Earth Warrior”, she also believes that her contribution to this dream-come-true project could have a positive impact on her path towards more environmental activism.
Stacey Rice is a transgender woman who found her way to Portland, Oregon from the North Carolina mountains a bit over seven years ago. She was recognized in 2016 as a Queer Hero by the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific NW and is the former Executive Co-Director of Q Center --the largest LGBTQ community center in the Pacific NW. Stacey's heart is filled every time she sits under a big Ponderosa Pine tree in the high desert or wanders the rim of Crater Lake, pondering the Universe. She feels incredibly blessed to call Portland home.
A fourth-generation Oregonian, Ryan was raised on a small farm in a conservative lumber town in Central Oregon. Growing up he raised 4-H cattle, worked on the farm, and was taught the basics of being a “man” from his father and brother. From his mother, he discovered creativity and thoughtfulness. His respite from the rigors of the farm was to spend time in the woods, where life felt normalized and safe. Ryan has dedicated his career to public service in Urban and Park/Trail planning. Who’s on Top? is an opportunity for Ryan to explore the polar opposites that have shaped his life, find a better understanding of himself, and learn from other participants during the journey to summit the mountain.
Devin is a gay, Asian-American filmmaker whose storytelling reflects his reaction to nearly four decades of cultural silence imposed on him by both his native and adopted cultures from his earliest years as an immigrant to the United States.
He's currently on his 3rd career, having first developed his financial and analytic skills in the corporate world, and then explored his eye for fashion and aesthetics in apparel merchandising.
Director of Photography
Since 2011, Justin Rapp has worked in many, if not all, of the roles required to create superior videography, including camera operator, drone operator, production sound mixer, 1st and 2nd assistant, time-lapse photographer and more. In addition to these roles, Justin has also been a producer, writer, director, and editor of his own projects.
Justin's work covers the spectrum from corporate video, web-based advertisements, commercial work, and televised ads. Both locally in Oregon as well as regionally and internationally, Justin served as a crew member on short films, commercials, a nationally televised reality shows, and independent productions.
Camera Operator|1st AC
Gus is a commercial and documentary camera operator born in the midwest but raised in the Pacific Northwest. He's no stranger to Mt. Hood, having been snowboarding its slopes since childhood. He plans to use his camera skills as a means of telling the stories of amazing people who inspire others to live to their fullest potential.
A hockey player, a devout reader, and aspiring model, Gus seeks to push himself in every endeavor he takes on. Growth is what he hopes to see from climbing the mountain, both as a person and as a member of an amazing community of peers.
Reuben Bernardo is an up and coming filmmaker who has a love affair with film and a passion to connect and engage others to the world of storytelling. He grew up between the Sierra Nevada mountains and San Francisco, where he learned the hard lessons of self endurance and perseverance.
As a gay Latinx individual, Reuben is beyond excited to work with such a diverse group of people and help spread the message of equality and inclusion. Reuben will be making his directorial debut in 2019.
As an Ecuadorian-American immigrant Silvia studied business and accounting in college, and has now finally caught up to her childhood dream of becoming a professional photographer.
She is grateful for her photography instructors at Portland Community College and for her friends who have helped her continue to grow as an artist.