Every year I have a great time at ECDX, my 3rd year in attendance was no exception. I mean the weekend combines several awesome ingredients which create one awesome event. Roller Derby + Friends + Little Baby’s Ice Cream + Beer + Bonnie Thunders fitting me for skates. HELLO AWESOMENESS. But besides all the on-the-surface great things that make up this great event… This year in particular struck me on a deeper level.
Friday night of the event, there was a Junior Roller Derby bout. Several of these girls stayed throughout the remainder of the weekend. In addition, there were several other children spotted at the event. When I looked around me and thought about our environment, and the spirit and purpose of Roller Derby, I felt extremely proud. Proud of the parents of these kids, proud of the kids, and proud of the roller derby community. These youth are experiencing the best qualities of America and ECDX is an event so jam-packed with amazing people and fun that you can forget about the suckyness in the world, even if just for a few days.
To elaborate on my point more, the roller derby community is incredible and inspiring in so many ways. When people claim “Roller Derby Saved My Soul,” I’m sure many are referring to the community of women and men they are now a part of. Roller Derby represents so many things: freedom, camaraderie, and not only “Tolerance” or “Acceptance,” but seriously RESPECTING and CELEBRATING differences! Different cultures, genders, bodies/physiques.
At ECDX I saw so many different breeds of human. There were several teams from different countries. Women of all shapes, sizes, and colors. In roller derby (at least from what I have seen) there is a huge amount of support and celebration of differences. There is very little judgement or discrimination.
All natural? Cool.
Big? Small? Average? Cool.
Strong? Really Cool.
Straight? Gay? Not sure? Cool.
Blonde? Brunette? Purple? Cool.
From another state? Cool.
From another country? Way Cool.
EVERYONE IS RAD in their own way! It’s the coolest thing.
To witness this first hand, please sit on Rink 1 for several hours and enjoy the challenge bouts. This is where a team of women (who likely don’t know one another at all) come together to represent some fun character trait, hobby, cause, preference, etc. and duke it out in an epic fun battle vs the opposite and then laugh and celebrate together before and after. I participated in a couple bouts this weekend including iPhone vs Android, and Penguins vs Flyers. Some other challenges have included Gay vs Straight, Pixie Cuts vs Long Hair, Tupac vs Biggie, and so many more! It’s fun to see all of the women come together, represent, and celebrate their differences.
You can truly stop worrying about all the quirks and differences and “appearances” you need to keep up in public to be “normal.” You will be judged on you personality and attitude. People will like or dislike you for who you really are. And 99% of the people I interacted with last weekend were kind. Lots of hugs, compliments, high fives, and door holding going on. I loved it.
Overall I believe that Roller Derby & associated events create very positive atmospheres and experiences. I hope the derby community remains this way and I hope many youth get to experience this culture. What better way to raise the next generation of Americans?
Maybe I’m reading too much into all this, but something just clicked in my heart this weekend and I had to share my opinion with the world. Just seriously, Roller Derby is so great. I really enjoyed spending my weekend with friends and teammates, derby people from around the world, very well-behaved dogs, awesome kids, and just plain NICE people. ECDX was, as usual, an all-around good time and I look forward to June 2015!!