QUEER CRUSH DIRECTORS
Secretary & Vice President
President & Board Chair
FEIFEI XUE (THEY/THEM)
Secretary & Vice President
Joy and Acceptance
Feifei is excited to be part of something that helps people find acceptance and joy in climbing together. They are most happy to climb with friends and community, regardless of where or what kind of climbing. They’re most comfortable at a gym, complaining about some unexpected pinch or sloper. :P
They’ve always gravitated to opportunities to welcome new folks to something they love. This includes new student support and residential assistant roles throughout high school and college, as well as volunteer-teaching bouldering and routesetting 101 courses. Professionally, they manage an HR data team for a large company, which gives them hands-on experience with data management and organizational leadership as well as a front row seat to recruitment strategy, HR process and policy design, and DEI initiatives.
Their ape index is 0, but their right arm is longer than their left arm!
JAY LOUIE (THEY/THEM)
President & Board Chair
Jay found climbing in 2017 and has been surrendering to its healing power ever since. During the pandemic, they've transitioned from frequenting the gym 5x a week to organizing small trips to the desert to learn multi-pitch trad. Climbing helped Jay move through trauma and disability.
Embodiment & Empowerment
'Climbing is just an invitation to be in my body. That is all it is, really.' Jay recognizes the importance of safe spaces and people in fostering skill development and access to this sport and lifestyle. They are dedicated to sharing the practice of climbing to empower queer trans people of color.
Jay runs a a climbing therapy program and wants to bring psychedelic psychotherapy into nature.
TYLER POSTON (THEY/THEM)
Tyler’s reasons for climbing are to hang out with others, experience novelty through systems exploration, inhale rejuvenation in nature, eat every one of the 20 flavors of Albanese gummy worms for the send (or the sit) and make sure to get on some top ropes that are too hard.
They see climbing as cool because it's the intersection of noticing experiences with the land and other persons. There's a lot of work to do in how we interact in these cross sections and they love that Queer Crush is a safe space to explore, learn and give work in these areas. They bring stoke, learning and curating self as a resource for DEI work, climbing systems knowledge and openness!
The Albanese 20 flavor gummy worm bulk packs can be purchased from Groc Out.
MEET OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
CLAIRE HANNEMANN (SHE/HER)
GREAT WESTERN POWER COMPANY 2020, 2021, 2022
Approachable, welcoming, eager to learn.
'QC helped me build community when I moved here a few years ago and I’d like to provide the space for others to do the same. I like that climbing is as much a mental workout as it is physical. I mostly climb in the gym, and anything slabby and crimpy is my favorite.'
Fun Fact: 'When I’m not climbing I work in mental health research.'
JAMES DONG (HE/HIM)
2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Flexible, conscientious, intense.
'I love community building and also grow a great deal personally from the experience. I love weird moves (bat hangs) and dynos. Outdoors in particular, I love something scenic. My favorite climbing trip has been to Thailand to deep water solo!'
Fun Fact: 'I also host a regular karaoke club...yes it's an obsession!'
JESS TSANG (THEY/SHE)
DOGPATCH BOULDERS & BENCHMARK 2021, 2022
Creative, communicative, level-headed.
'Captaining for Queer Crush combines my love for climbing, community building, and supporting the queer community all in one! I'm into making spaces where people can connect with each other.
I enjoy any route that flexes my creative problem solving skills and puts me in weird body positions. I love working problems with others, how it gets me outdoors, the feeling of measurable progress, the balance of physical and mental strength, the opportunity to learn and teach skills, and the silliness of finding the hardest way up a rock only to walk down it.'
JESSICA MA (SHE/HER)
GREAT WESTERN POWER COMPANY 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Participatory, collaborative, service-oriented.
'I love all outdoor climbing including sport, following on trad, and bouldering. Climbing styles I enjoy including overhangs and roofs. I like the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a move or sending a route that did not seem possible at first.'
Fun fact: 'I mountain biked from Canada to Mexico along the Great Divide!'
LAUREN JOW (SHE/HER)
Empathetic, empowering, intentional.
'Queer Crush transformed my relationship to climbing from a pastime to a passion. I want to help other QTPOC climbers celebrate their sends, tackle their fears, share skills, and support one another in a joyful space. I looove bouldering, especially technical, beta-intensive problems, and projecting with other shorties!'
Fun Fact: 'I’m allergic to Vicodin.'
RISHA MARS (THEY/THEM)
DOGPATCH 2019, 2020, 2021
PACIFIC PIPE 2021, 2022
Friendly, relaxed, organized.
'I love meeting awesome people, and introducing QPOC to climbing! I like all the styles of climbing! Currently, I lead (sport), top rope and boulder. I particularly like roofs :) '
Fun Fact: 'I'm a square dance caller!'
SARAH WASSMUND (ANY)
2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Shiny, flowy, fun.
'I love sharing and growing in queer community. I love all types of climbing and enjoy rotating through periods of trad, bouldering and sport climbing. I adore how climbing challenges my mind and my body.'
Fun Fact: 'I love the moon!'
NANDA GURUSWAMY (THEY/THEM)
2019, 2020, 2021
Observant, supportive, patient.
'I learned about Queer Crush during SF Pride in 2019 and asked if there was a meetup for The Studio. There wasn't yet so I was able to start it up and was stoked to get a space created for LGBTQ+ climbers in the gym. I enjoy sport climbing the most and the supportive culture in climbing spaces. I also enjoy seeing all the different ways people climb routes and boulder problems.'
Fun Fact: 'My first Dungeons & Dragons character owns a magical rope and climbing shoes.'
HUNG VU NYUGEN (HE/HIM)
Listener, Learner, Logical.
'I love climbing and being able to create a space for queer people to come and find community. I enjoy crimpy and technical/balance-y problems. I love problem solving, so I like to see how I can approach a problem, route read, and find "my way" to do it.'
Fun Fact: 'I volunteer as a camp counselor at two queer youth summer camps.'
AMY CUMMINGS (SHE/HER)
BENCHMARK & BERKELY IRONWORKS
Facilitator, big picture thinker, party planner.
'I love climbing and I love organizing queer events so it just makes sense!'
Fun Fact: I put my intense fear of heights to the test on the Half Dome cables in summer 2021 :)
ALICIA ZHAO (SHE/HER)
GREAT WESTERN POWER COMPANY
Enthusiastic, empathetic, encouraging
'Queer Crush combines my two passions of climbing and cultivating spaces for queer people to be themselves and find community. I immediately felt welcomed at QC when I first moved to the area and want to help create the same experience for others.'
Fun fact: 'I have a cat with six toes named Puddle.'
LEX SCHUTZENGEL (THEY/THEM)
Welcoming, supportive, listener.
'I love being in queer spaces and want to build more queer community. I enjoy the physical challenge of climbing and the satisfaction of finishing a route that used to be too hard for me.'
Fun Fact: 'I also volunteer as a CASA, advocating for foster youth.'
SAM HOFFMAN (SHE/HER)
PACIFIC PIPE & NEWSLETTER ADVOCATE
Fun, inclusive, energetic.
'I love queer community, and I'm really grateful for the opportunity to build both together at Queer Crush'.
Fun fact: 'I speak Turkish and I worked as a ski patrol at high school.'
SEAN ASSANUVAT (HE/HIM)
OUTDOOR MEETUP HOST
Chill, optimistic, open-minded.
'Climbing and the QC community has provided me with so many good memories from exploring scenic crags to creating friendships with some amazing people. For me leading at QC is a way to give back to the community and supporting other queer people in their climbing journey wherever they may be.'
Fun Fact: 'I have a tattoo of a candy heart that says Queer.'
SIOBHAN STUART (SHE/HER)
DIABLO ROCK GYM
Enthusiastic, approachable, empowering.
'I lead at QC to help ensure everyone feels safe and supported at the climbing party.'
Fun fact: 'A flowing water spirals in a vortex which is why rivers and streams like to meander instead of go in a straight line and are deeper in the middle than at the shorelines.'
NATALIE BLACKBURN (SHE/HER)
Competent, compassionate, dedicated.
'I've really found a lot of joy in the short time I've been climbing, and the thing that's made it even better is getting to be social about it. I want to facilitate other people finding that same joy with folks they feel safe with.'
Fun fact: 'I was born in Fort Knox, KY. Yeah. With all the gold.'
WINTER KU (THEY/THEM)
Playful, unconventional, loves feedback.
'I really want people to more easily find community and build meaningful relationships with people who get them. I benefited so much from having a space to both understand my gender better and meet new friends, mentors, and partners in climb.'
Fun fact: 'I started a multigenerational community house in SF with a few other parents to coparent and foster kids together.'
OUTDOOR MEETUP HOST
Adventurous, intuitive, gregarious.
'I have a deep & profound relationship with rock climbing. It has been my anchor & my constant. It has taught me much about myself & helped me develop the knowledge & skills to quiet the fears.
I want to share this passion with as many marginalized communities I could reach & provide a safe, inclusive & fun outdoor experience.'
Fun fact: 'I’m scared of heights.'
KATHERINE DU BOIS (SHE/HER)
LOS ANGELES BOULDERS
2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Welcoming, organized, diligent.
'I love helping create a space for queer outside of bars and nightclubs. Not that there's anything wrong with getting down on the dancefloor (because I love that too). I love facing my fears and pushing myself to the limit when I climb. I love the sense of community you feel when you're on the wall and everyone is cheering you on - regardless of what level you climb or your experience.'
Fun Fact: 'I was raised by hippie South American immigrant parents and ate tofu/Ezekiel bread/alfalfa sprout sandwiches before they were coooool.'
ZOEY GRINSTEAD (SHE/HER)
CLIFFS OF ID
Engaging, encouraging, and unforgettable.
'As a routesetter at the gyms, I really enjoy engaging and supporting fellow queer climbers. Their perspective and opinions on climbs are priceless, and honestly, climbing with them is just really fun. I enjoy slightly steep crimping, or anything where I can use my flexibility to my advantage (i.e. drop knees for days). I love every friend I've made from sharing projects to late night gym sessions.'
Fun Fact: 'Born the youngest of 3, but youngest of 5 by the time I was out of middle school, thanks to discovering long lost siblings.'
MARINA SOBREVIÑAS (SHE/HER)
2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Compassionate, positive, grateful.
'From the adventures outside to crushing projects in the gym, the connections made through our meetings have been priceless. Not only have I found my community through Queer Crush, but I have gained a climbing family. My only hope is to be able to offer a safe and open space for others to do the same. I love the physical and mental aspects of climbing. Being creative and finding the best beta for my body is my favourite part. It is like a puzzle waiting to be solved.'
Fun Fact: 'I'm a professional bubble blower at the Children's Hospital.'
ERIC HO (HE/THEY)
SENDER ONE LAX & PV,
ONBOARDING & RECRUITMENT ADVOCATE
Affirmative, benevolent, cerebral.
'I lead to create a safe space for queers to meet and climb and send together.'
Fun fact: 'I was the star of my 6th grade musical, the western Tumbleweeds.'
SONIA MEHTA (SHE/HER)
PARTNERSHIPS FOR LOCAL & INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION
Encouraging, organized, fun.
'I want to create the space for people to gather in a welcoming and safe environment. I practice this with all my personal and professional relations. Working with QC allows for that on a wide scale. I want to create the space for people to gather in a welcoming and safe environment. I practice this with all my personal and professional relations.
Fun fact: Every year I learn a new sport! This year is soccer!
MAC MACQUILKAN (THEY/THEM)
SENDER ONE, SANTA ANA
Enthusiastic, collaborative, silly.
'Cultivating a space for queerness within the climbing community is very important to me, plus I get to meet so many wonderful people! Beloved climbing styles: I love the technical stuff. Give me side-pulls on a clunky overhang that require at least 2 drop knees and 3 heel hooks, I'll be happy!
Fun fact: 'Steven Universe is my comfort show :) '
VINCE HUANG (HE/HIM)
Fun, practical, equitable.
'Queer Crush is an amazing community filled with passionate servant leaders sharing their love for climbing and creating safe spaces for us all to become the best versions of themselves. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?'
Fun fact: 'A group of unicorns is called a blessing!'
ELLIE SHIN (SHE/HER)
ADVOCATE - MEMBER ENGAGEMENT
Decisive, detailed, productive.
'I want to help create and shape spaces for people who historically have been excluded from enjoying the outdoors. I hope to provide confidence, education, and the tools for others to do so through QC so I can give back to a community that has already given me so much.'
Fun fact: 'I'm a certified Wilderness First Responder and work as an EMT - I'm probably one of the best people to take with you to outdoor climbing *hint hint*'
GALINA MELAMED (SHE/HER)
Passionate, inclusive, fun
I am stoked to be part of creating more safe spaces for queer climbers, to bring joy and fun, and love to rocks around Tahoe! I love all types of climbing and tend to cycle between my favorites: bouldering, alpine trad, ice climbing, less often sport. Mostly, my favorite is time in the sun, on rocks with friends.
Fun fact: The FBI tried to recruit me to be an agent, I cannot confirm nor deny that I declined ;)
TAI DAVIDSON BAJANDAS (THEY/THEM)
Empathetic, chill, friendly
What climbing styles and aspects of climbing do you enjoy most?: Queer Crush combines two things I love, meeting new cool queer people and climbing! I think creating spaces where especially qtpoc can come together to build community is a form of collective care that I'm excited to help facilitate. Climbing has been a real source of physical and emotional healing for me so I'd also love to share that with others.
Fun fact: I recently learned how to scuba dive!
GRAVITY VAULT MARIN
Approachable, Community-Oriented, Patient
I’m drawn to volunteer for Queer Crush to help build a supportive community of queer climbers in the North Bay. I am looking forward to creating a safe space for my fellow climbers while also growing my own community here.
Favorite types of climbs: a challenging sloper with an overhang or a crimpy climb that thoroughly schools me.
Fun Fact: I love to read and write poetry!
JEN CHANG (THEY/THEM)
Collaborative, present and inclusive
I love that Queer Crush offers me both a safe space to meet other folks in the community and participate in healthy activities together. It was very easy for me to connect with others from the very first day to climb together regardless of the experiences because everyone was so friendly.
Fun fact: I was born in South America so I can speak and write in Spanish.
RAVI SINGH (HE/HIM)
Communicative, Relaxed, Logical
Connecting with the queer climbing community and giving back. I enjoy tall fun multipitch and steep sport climbing! My favorite thing about climbing is the sense of adventure in beautiful outdoor spaces with kind people.
Fun fact: Your ears make noise!
TARA JENKINS (SHE/HER)
HANGAR 18 UPLAND
Open, Encouraging, Fun
One of my favorite aspects of climbing is the communal aspect. Climbers tend to be so supportive, even with strangers. It’s a wonderful feeling when a complete stranger is celebrating your send with you. I want to help create more community and a space for everyone to feel safe to climb and have fun together. My favorite climbs are super crimpy bouldering problems. I love achieving something with my body that I didn’t think was possible from the ground.
Fun fact: I have two cats named after great female writers— Woolf and Joan
AMANDA SAYERS (SHE/HER)
Learner, Collaborative, Supportive
I learned about Queer Crush at Touchstone's Woman Up Climbing Festival in 2022 and I thought it'd be fun to have a meetup in Fresno!
Fun fact: I enjoy bird watching while kayaking!
KELLIE SU (SHE/HER)
MOVEMENT SANTA CLARA
Warm, Encouraging, Helpful
Volunteering for Queer Crush means giving back to and growing the queer and climbing communities that I am a part of by creating a welcoming, safe space for folks to join in.
My favorite part of climbing is encouraging and sharing the stoke with each other. Seeing someone overcome their fears or push through tough moves fills my cup with joy. As for styles of climbing, I’m a boulderer at heart and enjoy big burly powerful moves (jumps, dynos, coordination—I love it all!)
Fun fact: My favorite movie of all time is Everything Everywhere All At Once and will giddily watch it with anyone. I have the blu-ray!
LILLIAN SHALLOW (SHE/HER)
Bubbly, Creative, Fun
Climbing and being in community are some of my favorite things, and participating in Queer Crush is a beautiful way to merge the two. My two favorite types of climbing are bouldering and giggling on the mats with pals.
Fun fact: My very first time climbing was at a Queer Crush meetup
BRANDON TA (HE/HIM)
LONG BEACH RISING
Patient, Energetic, Community-oriented
I wanted to volunteer with Queer Crush because I love climbing and I love being a part of the queer community, so this was the perfect opportunity to do both!
Whether bouldering or rope climbing, slab is my favorite type of climbing. Other aspects of climbing that I enjoy are the focus it takes and the friends that I've made through climbing.
Fun fact: I used to be so scared of horror movies that I'd get nightmares from just the trailers, but now I love horror movies so much that I just watch them alone in my house...
NORA BRADFORD (SHE/THEY)
MOVEMENT FOUNTIAN VALLEY 2022
Climbing can be an intimidating sport, but having a community makes all the difference. I'm really excited to build this community with QC.
I top-rope and boulder, but either way I tend to like stemmy slabby routes.
Fun fact: I study how people think about their own thoughts
MOLLY DARBY (THEY/THEM)
MOVEMENT FOUNTAIN VALLEY
Empathetic, direct, & participative
I am passionate about creative safe spaces and increasing accessibility for marginalized groups within the climbing community. My favorite style of climbing is technical slab. As my good friend Anna Hazelnutt likes to say: "slab is sexy!"
Fun fact: I have a service dog name Denali (AKA Noodles) who is my pawtner in climb