Manoj Shahi Monika, a third gender person from Kailali, Nepal could be the first documented trans person to climb Mount Everest, but to do that the 35 year old must first make summit. The climb made famous by the book Into Thin Air is fraught with dangers that have maimed and killed many who have tempted fate.
There is a saying in mountaineering “Getting up is optional and getting down is mandatory.”
“I cannot afford to miss the opportunity to make the record for climbing Everest as the member from the LGBT community,” said Monika, who wants to be listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
Monika dreams to flutter the national flag together with a banner of Blue Diamond Society, an organisation working for LGBT community in Nepal, at the top of the peak.
However, Monika isn’t the first transgender person to be on Mount Everest, not by a long shot. Nineteen years before Hillary and Norgay‘s successful summit, British climber Maurice Wilson attempted and possibly reached the peak. Little is known or written about Wilson’s 1933 climb because she was transgender, or mad, as gender diversity was deemed then.
A transgender woman, Jan Morris, known at the time as James, had the coveted role as the sole reporter on the mountain when Hillary and Norgay made the first known successful climb.
I haven’t been able to locate any further information about Monika’s expedition but being the Mount Everest aficionado that I am I will certainly update this when I learn more.