What’s the deal with skaters who aren’t straight?
Thanks for your question. I’m just going to dive right in. So “what’s the deal with skaters who aren’t straight?” Well mostly, we just want to skate. It’s 2014 and the world is moving forward and becoming more accepting of everyone and that’s rad. But just as society still has its problems, so does skateboard culture.
We’re all skateboarders and we all love skateboarding, so of course we want to share the joy of skateboarding with everyone. Once we start excluding people, we start to lose opportunities to push our culture forward. I’m not saying it happens on purpose, but let’s go over some examples of how it does happen, and how we can fix it.
What exist as problems in our subculture are reflections of bigger problems that exist in mainstream society. The way I see it, skateboarding has always been a counterculture art form. We take things that civil engineers have built and make new art out of them. If we take what they give us and make something different, why would we continue to perpetuate negative aspects of mainstream society when we can flip them as well and make our scene a more accepting place? What I’m talking about is making skateboarding a safer space so that everyone feels welcome to participate and nobody is excluded. This starts primarily through staying away from hurtful language.
First of all, stop using the word “gay” as an insult. It shouldn’t be used as such, and you sound like a child when you use it that way. Secondly, and possibly more importantly, remove the F slur from your vocabulary entirely. You know which word I mean. It’s incredibly hurtful and associated with harassment and violence. Also, reconsider what you mean when you say someone “has balls” or is “a pussy”. Say what you mean instead of using gendered euphemisms.
Get out of the habit of assuming that someone is straight. Get out of the habit of assuming someone’s gender. You’d be surprised what you find out as the social climate shifts. People who had previously not felt comfortable coming forward may now do so once we all make skateboarding a safer space. We can change the climate in skateboarding, and it starts with you. Watch what you say, and speak up if your friends are out of line. Don’t skate safe, but make skateboarding a safer space.
– EdDisclaimer: I am just one person and cannot in any way represent all LGBTQAI persons. I write from my own personal experiences.
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