Melanin Skate Gals & Pals was founded to empower and uplift the voices of marginalised communities within the skateboarding world.
For many of us, starting skateboarding was daunting especially when the spots you go to skate are crowded with white, cis men. In addition to that, you never really see beginners – the men you see have been skating since they were teenagers or even younger. Melanin Skate Gals & Pals was founded to empower and uplift the voices of marginalised communities within the skateboarding world. We aim to try and fill the gap of representation, by holding meet-ups for BIPOC, LGBTQI women and non-binary people of all abilities to provide a safe space to skate, express themselves and redefine what a skater looks like.
Some words from MSGP founder, Marie Mayassi: “It was at the beginning of all the non-male skate crews emerging, no other skate group really existed when we started. And that is why I believe we got so much attention at the beginning, and I really hope it inspired other people to start their own skateboarding collective and their own safe spaces. I also believe it got off the ground because, like I said, a lot of people didn’t feel they could get into skateboarding because they couldn’t find enough people looking like them. And because you can’t be what you can’t see, it restricted a lot of people to actually get involved in the sport. That is why I really encourage anyone who wants to start skateboarding to actually try and find a collective where they feel like they fit, but also to not hesitate to start their own initiative if they don’t feel like any of the collectives are catering for their feelings.”
In addition to that, we have a group chat of just over 150 people who meet up during the week for more skate sessions, events and more. We try to make it accessible to everyone by bringing people together so that they can find each other and have power in numbers in the skate scene.
Everyone skates for different reasons but the main reason we do it is because we love it. It’s hard and scary at times but incredibly rewarding. It helps us mentally too from anxiety to societal pressure to just making new friends and trying new things.
There’s nothing that compares to the feeling you have after a good skate.
Truthfully, it was a tough time, but we had social distanced meet ups (when we were allowed to) and continued trying to uplift each other via group message even though we were apart.