Don’t miss the 5th annual Clam Slam – the all-dyke derby double-header – Friday, June 28! It’s the fifth time the Toronto Roller Derby, Vagine Regime Canada, and the GTA Rollergirls have hosted the event, and the first time to feature two bouts. For ticket information click here here or visit www.torontorollerderby.com
We caught up with two derby girls, Monica a.k.a. Monichrome and Natasha a.k.a. Nasher the Smasher, to hear more about Clam Slam, and ask about how queerness and derby come together.
Q: How is derby connected with queerness?
Monichrome: Clam Slam is all about celebrating the queer skaters in Toronto!
Nasher the Smasher: One of the big draws is to be able to skate with the Dyke March and Pride Parade.
Monichrome: Both revel in alternative culture – roller derby is an alternative sport, so many queer people come to derby for the encouraging environment and support they might not have in other parts of their lives. If you don’t know how to skate – we’ll teach you. It’s not like other sports. If you get surpassed by a rookie – it’s awesome!
Q: How can derby be empowering, especially for queer women?
Nasher the Smasher: A lot of people look at derby and see fishnets, so they think it’s sexually objectifying. But we take that and play with it. I may be wearing fishnets, but I’m also powerful, athletic, and strong. I feel like I can push myself physically because I’m in a safe, supportive environment, and I’m with my friends.
Q: How is derby political?
Monichrome: Women run the business of ToRD. We organize the bouts, we sell the merch, are on the board of directors – everything. You can’t avoid feminist politics!
Be warned – they say if you have even a small interest in playing a sport and you go to a bout, you’ll be hooked. And they assured me that although Whip It! may not have gotten all the rules right, it did capture the friendships, parties, and spirit of derby. If you want to know how to get on the track, check out the Fresh Meat program!
The Dyke March team will be at Clam Slam this year. If you have any last minute questions about how to march, what to wear, or what to expect on Dyke Day – make sure to find our table!
This post written by: Andi