Please read on:
In many parts of the global south, young people grow up in difficult circumstances and economic hardship without access to recreation, play and a safe space where they can seek refuge. There are too many people, particularly young people, that want to skate but whose families cannot afford to buy proper skate equipment. Additionally, in India, the culture around skateboarding and longboarding is borrowed and pasted directly from the glorified West. The existing sparse opportunities to explore sports as queer individuals becomes extremely threatening with looming transphobia, misogyny, rape culture and intense barriers to basic access and safety.
I am currently the artist in residence at Amra Odbhuth Cafe Collective, a trans collective space in Kolkata, India. I am building, restoring and managing the space. I have come across many young queer people who have expressed interest in longboarding, and in supporting my dream to be able to skate freely and safely as a trans person, given my history of abuse in the skate culture.
I've had my time with the intense rape culture that persists around skateboarding as a sport in the country.I've been roller skating from when I was 3 years old. I got into skateboarding when I entered college. I discovered longboarding along the way and fell in love with it. Unfortunately, the crew that promoted longboarding, through which I got acquainted with the sport, turned out to be steeped in misogynistic rape culture that a lot of skate communities across the world are affected by. Having experienced life-altering abuse of my personhood over the course of 5 months with the crew, I fled for my safety and had to give up my association with, and activity in longboarding.
Even still, my struggle for justice has refused to cease. I've made up my mind to restore what was taken against my will, and create as much of a space as I can for me (and anyone else) to be able to skate like I want to.
I'm raising money to buy a cool longboard for my birthday, and to build some cool longboards that we can ride freely.
Costs and budget for my project:
Wood glue, fiberglass and grip tape: 30,000
Trucks, wheels, other longboard parts: 70,000
A custom longboard+skate shoes+basic tools: 45,000
Safety gear: 10,000
Assuming payment gateway charges: 5,000
All the longboards I build will be freely accessible to queers and youth in need across Kolkata and Gorubathan.
Thank you for reading this far. Consider sharing my fundraiser with anyone willing to support a ray of hope for queers in sports, and for longboarding to exist in my life.
I promise to DIY all the way and keep you folks updated!