Sadly, due to societal prejudice and exclusion, queer youth are at greater risk than their straight and cis-gendered counterparts of experiencing violence, homelessness, suicide, imprisonment, dropping out of school, and substance abuse. What do you do to make your skate project queer-friendly? How do you navigate this question in various cultural contexts?
At Skateistan we have had trouble directly addressing these challenges for our participants. The discourse around LGBT+ rights doesn't always translate across religious values and national/political borders. Our work began in a conservative Muslim country, and this has sometimes meant avoiding hot topic issues in order to preserve the political neutrality and security of our project.
We hope we are contributing something positive by creating a space where bullying or harassment are not tolerated, and where everyone is regarded as equal.
Please share any tips you have for creating LGBTQI+ friendly social skate programs.