Transparent star enables LGBT skateboarders


Tara Jepsen is blonde, queer, feminist, writer, performer – a very interesting personality anyway. And she is living in Los Angeles with her cat. Tara started skateboarding at 36, her 90s punk identity resonated with the outsider element of the skate park. There’s room for so many different kinds of people and so many sorts of ill-fitting people at the skate park. So many people who are not necessarily comfortable to be around have a place there.” Overhearing the homophobic language used in the skate park inspired Tara to create a bespoke skateboard deck that screams: “Not gay as in happy, queer as in f*** you.” She wanted to protect herself from homophobes but she got more – uniting with a graphic artist she created a line of neon skateboards with anti-homophobic massages for sell. Desks also feature queer icons including Brian Anderson, Audre Lorde, Alvin Ailey, Adrienne Rich and Morrissey, among others. She thinks that gay men suffer from abuse oftener than women, but still, both need protection, because “if men weren’t being accepted as queer and women were, there still wasn’t an acceptance of queer identity.” The queer messaging on the Pave the Way decks is a way of explicitly stating: “This is a queer presence in skateboarding; this is an intentional, outward, and queer freaks kind of thing. Not an act of respectability politics, but to say: ‘we’re comfortable being freaks or anomalous or whatever and we didn’t come to conform, we come here to be part of something we deserve to be part of.’”


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