“The whole trip I basically had to hide”: A Goffmanian Analysis of Erin Parisi and Negotiating the Gendered Mountaineering Space

Leeder, Thomas M. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7456-2175, Russell, Kate ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4260-8631, Beaumont, Lee C. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0345-4246 and Ferguson, Lois ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6384-5316 (2023) “The whole trip I basically had to hide”: A Goffmanian Analysis of Erin Parisi and Negotiating the Gendered Mountaineering Space. In: Gender, Politics and Change in Mountaineering. Global Culture and Sport Series . Springer-Palgrave-Macmillan, pp. 89-106. ISBN 978-3-031-29944-5

[thumbnail of Accepted chapter manuscript] Microsoft Word (OpenXML) (Accepted chapter manuscript) - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 11 June 2025.

Request a copy


The aim of this chapter is to critically analyse Erin Parisi’s experiences as she attempts to become the first transgender person to summit the seven highest mountains on each continent through her ground-breaking TranSending7 project. Multiple, semi-structured Zoom interviews were conducted with Erin, exploring topic areas such as her experiences of mountaineering both before and after her transition, the role of gender when climbing, alongside the development of the TranSending7 project and changing the trans* narrative. All interview transcripts were subject to a reflexive thematic analysis process and were interpreted through a Goffmanian framework, drawing upon the concepts of impression management, stigma, and gender displays. Two themes were developed: (1) Going stealth: Defensive practices and maintaining invisibility and (2) Becoming a speaker: The gendered mountaineering space. The findings suggest that Erin engaged in performances when negotiating her identity within mountaineering spaces across the globe. Indeed, Erin’s performances revolved around managing aspects of her biography which could potentially ‘spoil’ her identity in various social situations, often resulting in a need to remain stealth to conceal her trans* status. With mountaineering being presented as a gendered space plagued with hegemonic masculinity, Erin’s experiences highlight how both she and others performed gender displays to manage the perceptions of audience members within social situations. However, Erin’s story is one of progression, as she moved to a position of voluntary disclosure, rising above the need to hide and remain stealth, unintentionally becoming a role model for other trans* individuals. It is hoped this chapter will further highlight the challenges and issues associated with the gendered mountaineering space, with Erin’s example encouraging individuals to critically reflect upon their experiences of negotiating this landscape.

Item Type: Book Section
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Sport, Health And Education
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Critical Cultural Studies In Education
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2023 08:32
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2023 05:13
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/92398
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-29945-2_6

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item