June 2020 will forever be remembered as the month that the world stood up and went toe to toe with two global pandemics. We gloved (and masked) up against the relatively new Covid-19, and we finally swung a big left hook at centuries deep white supremacy. The response from the snowboard industry was overwhelmingly positive. There were several companies manufacturing and donating PPE for first responders combatting Covid on the front lines. Many brands also donated money to BLM organisations, publicly held themselves and other accountable for their words and actions and took to social media to call for change regarding the racism that’s entrenched in our communities.
“Is it because we’ve inadvertently created an environment where they feel unsafe or uncomfortable being themselves?”
While these causes have rightfully garnered a lot of attention, the fight for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community has been put on the back-burner slightly. Pride Month is traditionally celebrated in June across the globe to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall uprisings. Pride events across the world were cancelled in response to Covid-19 and we decided that there was no time like the present to be introspective.
We started by asking ourselves a question- why is it that there are so few out athletes in professional snowboarding? (This references all identities covered by the LGBTQ+ umbrella.) Is it because they don’t exist? Or is it because we’ve inadvertently created an environment where they feel unsafe or uncomfortable being themselves?
This isn’t a call out post and this isn’t us sitting here calling you all homophobic or transphobic bigots, it’s us highlighting the lack of diversity in our industry. Surely anyone who really and truly cares about snowboarding should strive for it to be representative of anyone who wants to strap in and slide sideways. It’s time for us to diversify snowboarding.
“We want to take this opportunity to amplify the voices that are speaking out about the issues faced by the LGBTQ community”