Trans* Awareness Week

Easy Break Oven On Board as Seventh Guest of Trans* Awareness in Sports Week

And then there were seven! We’re proud to announce that Angie Reid, aka Easy Break Oven, will be contributing to Derby Frontier once again for Trans* Awareness in Sports Week. For last year’s inaugural event she contributed two outstanding articles entitled “Getting There is Half the Bout”, which was all about how current policies regarding identity documents and travel in North America present an additional challenge for trans* athletes looking to compete, and “Enforcing the Gender Binary”, which discussed endocrine systems/HRT and some of the really weird ways that’s been enforced in sports.

Easy Break Oven is a jammer for the Calgary Roller Derby Association (CRDA) All-Star team and co-captain of Team Alberta. Having loved rollerblading during college, and developed her skills dodging cars and skittering over sketchy sidewalks, roller derby was a perfect fit.

She’s been skating derby since 2011, beginning with Edmonton’s Oil City Derby Girls, before transferring to CRDA in 2014, and has been working to expand her coaching skills as a regular guest coach with the Rocky View Junior Roller Derby Association. Easy is eager to be a part of CRDA’s 2015 season and their drive to make Division 1 playoffs, after their debut year saw a staggering jump to #56 in the WFTDA official rankings. With a perfect 8-0 record at the Wild West Showdown, Maple Stir-up, and their home games, CRDA’s All-Stars are getting noticed. Team Alberta also went undefeated with a 6-0 record at the Toban Tussle and Hicktown Throwdown, besting opponents such as Team Manitoba, Team Ontario, and the Thompson-Okanagan All-Star Team (aka TOAST, a B.C.-based superteam). CRDA’s first WFTDA action this year will be in March at How the West Was Won in Arizona, followed by a packed schedule with a major event every month thereafter.

Easy is also working at spearheading the first trans vs. cis bout, “Girls like us vs. Cisters of Mercy” at this year’s upcoming Rollercon. She likes to keep busy off-skates as well, having done a variety of talks on trans issues at local community colleges, and has an upcoming workshop, in partnership with Edmonton’s Traveling Tickle Trunk, on trans sexualities from a pro-pleasure feminist perspective. By day, Easy is an electronic technologist for a major oilfiled services company, which helps keep her geeky side occupied, and her gas tank full!

*Feature image courtesy of Sean Murphy.

Jay Latarche, Founding Member of Beijing Roller Derby, Sixth Confirmed Guest for Trans* Awareness in Sports Week

Written by Kevin Dennison

While I have spoken with hundreds of individuals from around the international roller derby community, few personal stories have piqued my fascination quite like Jay Latarche’s, one of the founding members of Beijing Roller Derby (BRD). Over the past few days, they have begun to tell me about their life experiences, both on and off of the flat track, as a non-binary trans* person who has called two very different countries their home: England and China.

Born in the UK, Jay was raised in Guangzhou during the 1990’s, shortly after China opened the country to foreigners. Over the years that followed, Jay went back and forth living between China and the UK. It was during this time that they underwent a profound journey of self discovery that has made them into the person they are today.

“Moving back to England a bit older, I was bombarded with gender pronouns, something China lacks, and a very different culture that put a lot of emphasis on gender roles. That was a very confusing point in my life. I mistakenly came out 3 times as different things, before I realised that it was not my orientation but my gender that I was struggling with,” Jay explained in an introductory email they sent me last weekend. “I then went on a journey of exploration, reading and speaking to people on the internet. Finally coming to accept myself, when moving back to China, I realised that Beijing had no derby, so searched out other potential players or people interested in playing the sport. I only came across one other person, and we then started to work on founding a league.”

That other person was Hooten’ Annie from the San Angelo Soul Sisters, now known as San Angelo Roller Derby, out of Texas, who worked extremely hard with Jay to found BRD in China’s capital city. Outside of getting BRD set up, Jay was also closely involved with the Beijing LGBT centre, as well as the Beijing Lesbian centre, and they even once spoke at the Beijing American Center in the Embassy of the United States about being LGBT in the work place.

In all, Jay has been involved in derby for about 3 years. They first started skating with Milton Keynes Roller Derby (MKRD), training with both the MKRD men’s team, the Quads of War, and women’s team, the Concrete Cows, as well as in mixed sessions. After establishing BRD,  Jay was Head coach of the league for nearly 1.5 years until recently moving back to the UK to live in London this past September. Jay is now skating for MKRD once again; though they also remain involved with BRD as an adviser to the Board of Directors.

I am absolutely thrilled to have Jay Latarche involved as a blog guest for next year’s Trans* Awareness in Sports Week on Derby Frontier! Make sure to come visit the blog again between March 28 and April 4 (*end date subject to change), 2015, to read more about their story!

The Smacktivist Will Return For 2015 Trans* Awareness in Sports Week


Really pumped that some of this year’s guests will be coming back to participate next year as well! Like Ms. Dr. Joseph L. Simonis, Maxwell Schneider, aka The Smacktivist, #365 of the Ohio Roller Girls (OHRG), was also involved with the 2014 Trans* Awareness in Sports Week as an interviewee.

Smacktivist is an extremely accomplished skater with a wealth of tournament experience under their belt. In recent years, Smacktivist has competed in the 2011 WFTDA North Central Playoffs in Indianapolis, Indiana, the 2012 North Central Regional finals in Niagra Falls, New York, the 2013 WFTDA D1 Playoffs in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the 2013 WFTDA Championships in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Outside of the WFTDA circuit, Smacktivist has also competed in the 2014 and 2013 Quad City Chaos in Toronto, Ontario.

Smacktivist is now looking to repeat their success from last year alongside the Ohio Roller Girls at the 2014 WFTDA D1 Playoffs in Evansville, Indiana this upcoming September 19th to the 21st!

Can’t wait for next year’s follow up discussion and interview!

Smacktivist is now the 5th confirmed guest for next year. Check out the Trans* Awareness Week page to see other confirmed guests for 2015 and to read all the content from 2014’s inaugural event.

*Feature photo courtesy of Joe Mac.