“I care a lot about the queer community and think it is important to tell the stories of those so often left out of conversations,” says Jude Thomas. “Especially within the communities so often dominated by cis-het men.” It’s for this very reason that they co-founded the Queer Skate Collective in Edinburgh, creating a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth to get out of the house and connect.
Jude is a non-binary filmmaker and skater who champions diversity in the skate scene. After launching Queer Skate Collective and posting about the group on Instagram, young LGBTQ+ people from other cities across the UK wanted in. Within weeks, other branches of the Queer Skate Collective popped up.
“I think so many people at the moment are so divided and polarised in issues of other people’s gender,” Jude says. “I think it’s wholly unnecessary and I think it’s really important that we get really good representation, and really good visibility for non-binary people and trans people.”
For this film, titled City To Sea, Jude turns the camera on the Queer Skate Collective as they travel through Edinburgh to the coast.
“In this video piece I really want to represent what it feels like to come out the Skate Collective,” Jude explains. “Often, skating is so wrapped up in the idea of how many tricks you can do. I really like the idea that we can move past that into where you can get to and where you can go on a skateboard.”
Jude’s ambition is to take their work of creating safe spaces and community beyond the Queer Skate Collective and help the broader LGBTQ+ community.
“I hope that, in my own work, I will move beyond just film and skate and will be able to set up and run a grassroots Queer Hub for the LGBTQ+ community in Edinburgh that would help people access skate space, art studios and kitchens, as well as other community-use space,” they say.
“It is my hope that by creating a collaborative ethos and local space, myself and any collaborator in the community will be able to help support each other and the wider queer community.”
GAY TIMES has worked with Reebok to fund three creative placements for queer people outside of London to tell the story of their hometown.
Your Time, Your Legacy, Your Hometown is a campaign that shines a spotlight on the untold queer stories from youth across the UK.
All footwear and apparel worn by Jude available to shop at reebok.co.uk.