Many people misunderstand the skateboarder subculture. They think skaters are stupid and smelly, with really poor taste in clothing. But I have been privileged to know many skateboarders over the years and I have a lot of respect for them. First of all, accomplished skateboarding takes a lot of practice and dedication; it’s a tough sport. And skaters suffer a lot of injuries: sprained ankles, bruises, and abrasions.
Now, for a long time this site has been a sort of clearinghouse for gay skateboarders. There are many gay boys/men participating in the sport, and they are very passionate about it. They feel a real sense of brotherhood with their fellow skaters, even though the subculture is pretty homophobic. Gay skaters just kind of shake their heads when they hear the word “faggot”. And then they go on tre-flipping. (It’s a skater move, guys ….)
I wrote a short story titled Carter DuBose. It appeared in a Cleis Press anthology titled Skater Boys, several years ago. In it, two skateboarders, Douglas Fleer and Carter DuBose, progress from friendship to something deeper. The story was hugely popular, and I plan to re-publish it in an all-Delacroix anthology later this year. The boy to the left here looks like Carter. Here’s how he’s described in the story:
Carter was eighteen as well, but he looked younger. A few inches shorter than Douglas and skinny as a lawn rake, his coffee-colored hair fell into his brown eyes; it covered his ears and brushed the collar of his hooded sweatshirt. A turned-up nose and long eyelashes gave his face a girlish appearance. His fingers were long and large-knuckled. His skate sneakers were size tens and his jeans hung low on his hipbones. When he spoke, a rasp flavored his tenor voice.
Carter was a high school senior, and like many boys he harbored secrets: That he made honor roll every nine weeks was a fact he hid from Douglas and the other skaters in his working class, Orlando neighborhood. That he listened to classical music — Mahler, Schubert and Mozart in particular — only his mom knew. And the fact he liked men he had concealed from everyone.
That was about to change.
It’s a quiet night, here on the island. I had a good workout at the YMCA, and then I hit the supermarket on the way home. In a few minutes, I’ll make dinner for my boyfriend and me, and maybe we’ll have another blaze in our patio firepit.
Have a nice Wednesday night, friends.