Selena Gomez has been cast as trailblazing lesbian mountaineer Silvia Vasquez-Lavado. (Neilson Barnard/Getty and Silvia Vasquez-Lavado/ Facebook)
Selena Gomez has been cast as trailblazing lesbian mountaineer Silvia Vasquez-Lavado in an upcoming biopic. No, really.
Silvia Vasquez-Lavado is a Peruvian explorer, mountaineer and activist, who was the first Peruvian woman to summit Mount Everest and the first out lesbian to complete the Seven Summits.
She also founded the non-profit Courageous Girls which supports survivors of sexual abuse and trafficking.
The biopic, In the Shadow of the Mountain, will be based on Vasquez-Lavado’s upcoming memoir of the same name, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
However, the casting decision has people a little confused.
Although Selena Gomez has never publicly defined her sexuality, the LGBT+ community is frustrated that an openly queer actor was not cast for the iconic role of the lesbian mountaineer.
One Twitter user wrote: “I’m not going to assume she’s straight but I also don’t think this role should go to her when there are openly gay actresses out there who struggle to get work because they are open about their sexuality.”
of all people to play a gay mountaineer they picked….. selena gomez? https://t.co/XiL3udFG5C
— dee 🦇 (@robertbatinson) November 12, 2020
we’re going to make a movie about umm *spins wheel* the first peruvian woman to climb mount everest and uhh *checks notes* she’s also the first openly gay woman to complete the seven summits (?) starring……… selena gomez! https://t.co/ZopbOrTydd
— calling all barbs (@nesplease) November 12, 2020
good for her but is it sooo hard to choose a gay actor/actress to play the role of an actual gay person?
— ✨𝒌𝒂𝒊𝒂✨ (@kaia_xotwod) November 12, 2020
Another wrote: “Good for her but is it sooo hard to choose a gay actor/actress to play the role of an actual gay person?”
Vasquez-Lavado is, however, “honoured” that Gomez will be playing her and revealed that the actor will also be producing the film.
She wrote on Instagram: “I am so humbled and grateful to share this thrilling news, which has been in the works for the last 10 months… I am so honored and touched for the bold, talented, and brilliant Selena Gomez in taking the starring role and as producer.”
Oscar-winning producer Donna Gigliotti who will also be working on the film told The Hollywood Reporter that the mountaineer was a “force of nature”, and that she was excited to work with “Selena to tell this story of resilience, courage, adventure and humanity”.
The biopic will not be released for quite some time as Vasquez-Lavado’s memoir In the Shadow of the Mountain is set to be published in February 2022.