The Seven Stages Of Coming Out After Joining Your Local Roller Derby League
A Semi-Autobiographical Account.
Credit: Timothy Paul Smith
1. Drawn to retro aesthetics, you find yourself pinning circle skirts, cardigans with skulls, and brightly dyed hair worked up into victory rolls. Like a creeping tide you develop a fascination with roller skates, tattoos, and high-waisted shorts. One day you see a bunch of girls on roller skates, they’re advertising for tryouts for something called roller derby. You feel a tug in your stomach and hurry home to tell your boyfriend about it.
2. Skittering around on your ill-fitting roller skates it takes several practices but you do find your feet. Your coaches are women with tight booties, short shorts, and strong calves. They knock each other to the floor and laugh and get back up and hug and high-five. Thigh tattoos are really sexy. You feel inspired to come to training. To get better. At skating.
3. The coach demonstrated how truly close you need to be to properly block someone with your booty. Standing behind you like Swayze-on-wheels you have your own Ghost moment except less messy and more wobbly. You experience for the first time the lesbian conundrum: Do I want to fuck her or be her? Soon you’ll learn that both can be true but for now you chalk it up to admiration. Serious, lingering, Facebook-stalkey admiration.
4. It would only make sense now you wear a helmet all the time to maybe cut your hair a bit shorter. No, a bit more, yeah thanks. Yeah a fade would be great. Excellent. You hit up the bar after training with your teammates. Wow there are a lot of women in this bar. Yes of course they can rub the freshly shaved bit of your head, in fact, don’t stop doing that. Oh that’s that lot of eye contact. Whatever, we’re just a huggy bunch of people. Friends make out, whatever. Thigh tattoos are really damn sexy.
5. Your boyfriend is excited at your apparently new interest in women, mainly because he believes his threesome chances have just skyrocketed. You dump your boyfriend. It wasn’t working out, not because you crush on the girls at derby or anything.
6. You get a crush on the girls at derby. You have a fling, it goes bad. You have another fling, it goes well. You become aware of the ‘web’ of skaters made up of ex-girlfriends, fiancees, flings, skaters who quit, skaters who hate Drama, skaters who are Drama (normally the same people), and that one couple that are solid as a rock and laugh at all you silly children. You watch the L-Word. You realise life is the L-Word. This is it, you’re a derby queer.
7. You get a thigh tattoo.