GRIFFIN BRYAN, ABI BROWN & HANNA BABEK
Skate away hate with local group Lonely Bones
Since its creation, skateboarding has largely been a male-dominated activity. But as the sport begins to gain a more mainstream appeal, like becoming an Olympic event, many people are hoping that this antiquated attitude changes. At the forefront of this initiative is a Boston-based skate crew attempting to shred the gender stereotypes. Lonely Bones is a skate collective focused on empowering the identities that are often marginalized in skate culture.
Lonely Bones is a group for women skaters, but they also welcome anyone who does not fit the mold of a typical skater, such as transgender and disabled skaters. The collective, founded by Northeastern students Claire Lee and Rayven Tate, host meetups across the greater Boston area giving the atypical skaters of the city somewhere they can fit in and enjoy the sport they love without being judged. By building this community in a culture that for a long time did not accept them, Lonely Bones is reinventing the Boston skate scene.
Lee and Tate had the idea back in August of 2020 to create a safe space dedicated to making people feel comfortable in what Lee described as a vulnerable and humbling environment, which is the skate world. The mission is to “… break down this toxic stigma that I think exists in skate culture and honestly just in almost every industry that like, you need to dedicate your entire life to something, or put in hours and hours and hours to be valid and to feel safe in in that space and I feel like that’s unfair” according to Lee.
Lonely Bones emphasizes that this is not a club, so members can be as involved or uninvolved as they please. Taking away that feeling of commitment opens up the space to feel more free and inviting, which is something they really value. Their events range from skate meetups to community service projects such as trash pickups, to doing pop-ups with vintage retailers. Even if you are not a skater, there are still ways you can join the community and meet people with the same interests as you.
Their first event began with an Instagram post announcing a meet up at the Northeastern Basketball Courts on Columbus Ave. Lee stated the expectations were not high, and were only expecting a few people to show up. Lee mentioned, “We didn’t have water, we didn’t have first aid, we didn’t have signs, we had nothing.” However to their shock, “We had like probably 80 people drove in from like Rhode Island and Connecticut and New Hampshire and then like Western Mass and it was insane like these people, like none of them knew each other.”
This is a community unlike any other in New England that has fused together many different people through skating and self-expression. Getting involved in skating can be intimidating, however, Lonely Bones Skate Co. makes this easier by extending their realm into a “vessel,” as Lee puts it, for art, music and fashion, and community as well. To get involved or learn more, you can visit lonelyboneskateco.com or check out their Instagram, @lonelyboneskateco