Intentional space for gender non-conforming, trans folx, non-binary fox, and cis women who skate.
Is the description on the Instagram page for NYC Skate Project aka NYCSP. These words meant a lot to me as I’ve been trying to find the right way to communicate that while Quell is focused on women, run by two cis women, we intend to create a space where all non cis males can not only be welcomed, but *celebrated*
When we learned that NYCSP was holding an event - we couldn’t wait to see what was in store, and our expectations were certainly exceeded.
Lacey Baker, with the assistance of Kristin Ebeling of Skate Like a Girl and Skate Witches and Brian Anderson (yes, the Brian Anderson), successfully created exactly as the Instagram described. Everything was thought through and intentional.
“NYCSP was born out of my need for community and connection. I wanted to create a space in NYC intentionally for queer folks and women to feel welcomed, to be fully self expressed, and to learn how to skate. The intimidation and hyper masculinity at skateparks is generally overwhelming; it’s refreshing to be in a space where that’s a non-issue.” - Lacey Baker
When we arrived at Skate Brooklyn we were greeted at the door by well loved local skaters Jessyka Bailey and Marissa Rosewood who welcomed everyone and checked them in for the event. There were gender pronoun pins and a sign that stated,
“Inclusion is a paradox. This space exists not to exclude but to create equity as a response to systems of oppression.”
Once again I was met with the perfect phrasing to an idea I’ve been trying to explain - with Quell, we aren’t looking to exclude men, we just want more space for non cis men in skateboarding media and at the skate park.
The fun really began when the first wave of people arrived for instructor training. Here we introduced ourselves and took the time to learn how to facilitate learning. So we could offer a helping hand in the upcoming clinics.
It was time to put all of the knowledge shared in the room to the test during three, one hour clinics. We saw people of all genders and sexual orientations, all under one roof for the same goal, to have fun, learn, and probably fall a lot. People who have never stepped on a board came, others came with various levels of experience.
We saw quite a few first drop ins, as well as new tricks for the more advanced skaters. Regardless of tricks, everyone left feeling accomplished, supported, and stoked. After the clinics - we wrapped up with lots of hugs and reflection.
“Creating this space allows the community to grow and flourish in ways that seem impossible otherwise. The love and kindness flooded the space and I’m so inspired by my community, my heart is so full!”
- Lacey Baker
Thank you Lacey, The NYC Skate Project, and Skate Brooklyn for having us - we can’t wait for the next one!
*All photos by Kyle Dunn