Written by Kevin Dennison
If you haven’t already been able to tell from the immense amount of excited status updates in your newsfeed, tickets for Rollercon 2015 went on sale this morning and hundreds of derby folk around the world are already eagerly making shenanigan filled plans for their trips to Las Vegas next July. Amidst all of this is Angie Reid, aka Easy Break Oven, of the Calgary Roller Derby Association and Team Alberta, who is hard at work organizing a challenge bout focused on smashing some of the hurtful myths that stigmatize trans* skaters and showing that more members of the greater derby community support trans* skaters than those who do not.
The bout, entitled “Girls Like Us vs Cisters of Mercy”, will pit femme-of-center skaters on the trans/gender non-conforming (GNC) spectrum against skaters whose self-identity conforms with the gender that corresponds to their biological sex. “One reason I’d like to see the femme side represented is to counter mainstream arguments that trans women shouldn’t compete against cis women. So, I’m hoping an all trans/GNC femmes vs. cis women’s bout would blow some bigoted minds!” said Easy Break when I contacted her earlier today about her idea. “I’m really hoping to show how trans/GNC folks are considered full members of the derby community, that we are treated as equals and that cisgender women are eager to play with and against us. In fact, the cisgender side of the roster is filling up first!”
The idea to hold this challenge bout came to Easy Break as she was reflecting on just how many big steps the sport of roller derby has taken in moving forward with acceptance and awareness for trans* athletes; and what better place to continue the conversation than at derby’s largest annual conference! “Rollercon has always provided a forum where there can be a celebration of all sorts of identities and sexualities. With the Vagine Regime’s queer vs straight, and drag queens vs. drag kings bouts, the Friday bout lineup has had a strong focus on being out and proud. With the way understanding of transgender and gender-non-conforming identities has been progressing, and the release of the VR’s documentary “In The Turn”, I felt the atmosphere is right to have this bout as the next step.”
So, if you’re going to Rollercon and you would like to be a part of this PIVOTal (get it? Hah!) dialogue, please consider playing in the “Girls Like Us vs Cisters of Mercy” challenge bout! To sign up, fill in the form located HERE. You can also follow the planning thread happening over at the Rollercon message boards HERE.