Grinding out discrimination with Oakland’s queer skate collective

Every weekend in public squares and green spaces across the Bay Area, skate collective Unity Skateboarding roll out to reclaim a sport that has long been a stronghold for cis-gendered, heteronormative men. London-born director, Mollie Mills, joined the crew’s weekly ‘board meeting’ to profile how its growing members are creating inclusive spaces for LGBT and gender non-conforming youth.

“It’s a nonjudgmental celebration of intersectionality, inclusivity, and open-mindedness”

“As a gay woman, I have a personal yearning for some kind of queer oasis,” says the self-taught director. “Unity Skateboarding is home to many. It’s a nonjudgmental celebration of intersectionality, inclusivity, and open-mindedness. This project is long overdue and a necessary first step towards normalization, so skaters can just be skaters without a prefix.”

Mills’ film offers the perfect balance of kickflips and camaraderie, pivot grinds and play, with inspiring narration from the collective’s co-founders Jeffrey Cheung and Gabriel Ramirez, who discuss how being queer in skateboarding is a radical act in itself.


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