‘They/Them’: Nonbinary Climbing Phenom Stars in Breakthrough Patagonia Film

‘They/Them’ is a full-length climbing film about Lor Sabourin. And it may just be the first feature film to star a nonbinary climber.

Lor Sabourin is an Arizona-based climber, guide, and coach who identifies as queer, nonbinary, and trans, and uses the pronouns “they” and “them.” Sabourin is also one of Patagonia’s newest climbing ambassadors.

“I was introduced to climbing when I was about 12 years old,” said Sabourin. “I started to realize 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. ”

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Now 27, Sabourin is a seasoned climber. They coach at a gym. They’ve got their AMGA Single Pitch Instructor and Rock Rescue certifications. They’ve climbed 5.13+ multipitches. And they’re one of the first climbers who identify as nonbinary to send a 5.14 — on trad.

lor sabourin climbing up a crack wearing a purple long sleeve and a white helmet

“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,” Sabourin shared.

“These types of sports are really special at a time when so many trans people are being pushed out of sports. They can create a framework for showing how we can be more inclusive.”

But finding those safe spaces, finding support for who you are and want to be — it’s still not easy. Not always, not in every situation in life, not at every crag. “Creating that representation can also be really painful,” Sabourin said in the film.

Runtime: 50 minutes

The full film will premiere on Patagonia’s channel on Oct. 6, 2021, at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET.

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Mary Murphy

Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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