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The Dirt

Queer Crush meet ups build community

By: Isabella Holmes for The Dirt

In Davis, the queer community supports each other. And at Queer Crush, we mean literally support each other—from plummeting to the ground off a rock wall. 

Each month at Rocknasium climbing gym, LGBTQIA+ climbers gather to climb, make new friends, and build community.

Queer Crush is a nonprofit organization that hosts climbing events all around California and is all about “creating safe and inclusive spaces for those who are diverse in their gender, romantic, and sexual orientations,” according to their website.

Davis’ chapter of Queer Crush began in September 2023, when Rocknasium reached out to the organization to learn how to start a chapter of their own. They’re scheduled to host their tenth event this month.

“Rocknasium is a welcoming place,” Ash Zemenick, Queer Crush Captain for the Davis area, told The Dirt. “You don’t have to be a ‘good’ or ‘experienced’ climber to climb with other people, socialize, and have fun.”

These Queer Crush events are low-stakes and super accessible, Zemenick said. Day passes are discounted to $16 for Queer Crush events and belay classes are free.

This welcoming, relaxed environment is not only a place for people to explore the often-intimidating sport of climbing but also for people to explore their queer identity.

Jade Phoreman has attended many Queer Crush events at Rocknasium and told The Dirt it was key in the process of connecting to the queer community in Davis—and to her identity.

“As someone who came out pretty recently, my favorite thing about Queer Crush is that it provides me a space to celebrate who I am,” Phoreman said. “I often bring friends with me who then make other friends in the community, which is always fun to see.” 

There’s room for all kinds of climbing at Queer Crush and they do it all: bouldering, top roping, lead climbing, and even playing games on the wall. They also occasionally host outdoor climbing meetups.

“Mostly, we’re there to spend time together and get to know the local queer community while climbing,” said Zemenick.

Queer Crush usually falls on the fourth Friday of every month, but follow their Instagram to stay up-to-date on their next meetup. This Pride Month, they will be playing music by queer artists to jam out to while climbing.


On Instagram: @queer.crush.davis

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