GROW UP! #3 Gate Keeping
Hello all and welcome back to another installment of Grow Up. I think the term for our subject this month is gate keeping. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term it means being anally protective of the things you are passionate about. This exists in pretty much any realm that can be an interest-music, art, sports and the list goes on to infinity. If we are honest with our selves we will find that most of us are really stingy with that key to our precious mutual interest-skateboarding.
I am a gate keeper and make no bones about it. I mean it’s literally the basis of me writing these entries. I sound off on what I feel is sacred in skating, and follow it up with some bitching about who and why is doing it is all wrong. It has not won me many friends, but honesty is a rare bedmate of adoration I’ve found. Jeff Grosso was a hero of mine both on and off the board. Maybe even more so for his commentary than his skating. You see Jeff knew how to guard a gate with his painfully short life. He never minced words and was brutally honest. Let’s go into why such actions are needed in skating.
Without our elder statesmen in skating we tend to lose some of what made us who we are. While I think growth in skating is necessary I also feel it needs a little pruning of its dead branches from time to time. Gate keeping when done correctly is a much needed evil. It’s good for us as a community, and maybe not so much for the person being put in check. Skating is one of the most incredible things you can experience, but without the proper nudging our dear skating can turn into a sports bar like event, and only a real jerk would want that.
Now let’s get to why these territorial pissings are also quite harmful. Recently we’ve seen a very large upswing in skating becoming far more inclusive to many outside of our previously male dominated pass time. I feel this is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen in skating, and it has made me quite proud to be involved. However, there have been some people who aren’t all too pleased with it. This is where gate keeping turns ugly my friends. Fragile masculinity can’t seem to handle that queer or female skateboarders are better than they could ever wish to be at skating, and probably a hell of a lot cooler to hang out with. This is a part of our past that is fucking garbage and needs to die. Have I made homophobic slurs and derogatory comments about female skaters in the past, absolutely. That is the joy of life, we can grow and realize we were pieces of shit. When you refuse to do so it becomes a choice to be an intolerant prick. This behavior belongs in locker rooms with MAGA supporters, not in skating. Skating has allowed me a safe haven away from all things horrible in life, and everyone else should be allowed the same privilege.
Allow me to wrap this up by saying anything that keeps us the haven for the weirdo that is trying to escape all of the trappings of normal society is needed. If you’re being a fucking jock then it is your peers job to tell you so. Skating and skateboarders are too good for that shit, and it is not welcomed by and large. It’s pretty easy actually, just go to any sporting event and don’t act like those guys. If you already do act like those guys skating will die again and so will your participation in it. You can set your watch by it, and ability doesn’t matter. I’ve seen plenty of people who rip that aren’t actual skateboarders. What I mean by that is their allegiance can be bought and sold by whatever flavor of the month activity is now accepted. Those clowns can beat it too as their friendship with you will last as long as their interest in skating. It’s our job to see them out as I’m fairly certain most skateboarders can smell their own. Before this gets read and it is brought up that I’m preaching acceptance while not accepting others; that is exactly what I’m doing. Certain people don’t belong here, and it’s the fuckers who were no where to be found before our current surge of popularity. I’m not worried though, when whatever new wank fest these dipshits join after skating I will be stoked to be rid of them. The upside to all this though is all of those who hopped on board this time around that love it will remain. The gate is always open to you, and I’m proud to call you one of us.