News / Queer

New skateboarding group launches for Bristol’s queer skaters

By Andy Leake , Monday Apr 3, 2023

A new group has launched to create a safer space for LGBTQ+ people interested in skateboarding.

Queer Skate Bristol is made up of members of the city’s queer community and aims to challenge the perception of the sport as straight and bro-dominated.

Founder Oana says the group was started in response to spending time with another group, Queer Skate South Wales.

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They were inspired by the group’s DIY punk ethos to set up a similar group in Bristol and see what happened.

Oana said: “Queer Skate South Wales have been doing it for quite a while and they rekindled my childhood dream of skateboarding.

“I was surprised there wasn’t a group already in Bristol, that was shocking to me.

“We want to change the narrative a bit and encourage others to follow what they want to do. It creates a bond between people, skate parks can be intimidating when you go alone”

Queer Skate Bristol aims to create a safer space for LGBT+ people interested in skating – photo: Shelby Alexander

The group is helping empower people who may have previously been put off going to venues and parks by creating a safer space to learn to skate in. Most of the group’s members are beginners.

Oana added: “I see it more as an act of resistance, taking up public space as queer people, I found it really empowering, the power in numbers.

“It’s more just to come and hang out. Beginners can be put off by the pressure to skate.”

Queer Skate Bristol currently meet once a month in various skate spots – photo: Denis Seidali

Oana says the group is more than just skating, with the sense of community associated with the sport providing a lifeline to vulnerable people.

They continued: “It gets me out, makes me feel more healthy, I go and have fresh air and forget about everything. Now, with queer skating, it’s a whole community, you find people you can really rely on.”

Andy Leake is reporting on the queer community as part of Bristol24/7’s community reporter scheme, a project which aims to tell stories from areas of Bristol traditionally under-served by the mainstream media

Main photo: Denis Seidali

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