173: Lyndsay McLaren/Welcome to the Neighbourhood
How can you find the strength to turn traumatic experiences that have affected you deeply into something that has the power to transform your own community? How can you bypass the toxic gatekeepers who still control the routes and paths into the industry? And how can you feed the latent appetite for alternative narratives that exists, yet is shamefully under-served in our world?
All themes that feature in my conversation with this week’s guest Lyndsay McLaren; a powerful, multi-layered conversation that I think is one of the most important chats I’ve ever featured on the show.
And there are really two levels to this conversation. Firstly, there’s the story of Neighbourhood Skate Club, the community skate project that Lyndsay started in lockdown, and through which she’s aiming to “create space and opportunities for women and queer people who skateboard or want to learn”.
Then there’s Lyndsay own story, of how she’s managed to process the traumatic experiences that have hallmarked her own progress through the industry; and, along the way, found the strength to reclaim her own story, and subvert some of the insidious, toxic conventions that regrettably still exist in our community.
Taken as a whole, these threads combine into one truly powerful and inspirational tale. I’m grateful to Lyndsay for trusting me enough to talk so openly about her experiences, and am proud of the way she’s used them to create something so positive and transformative. Just a note to say that we do discuss incidents of sexual harassment in this episode, so be mindful of this as you listen.
- Matt’s hangover
- Moving house
- Lyndsay’s years in Miami
- The art of fitting in
- Stepping out
- Gaining self-confidence
- The importance of therapy
- Who skating gave Lyndsay a sense of self
- Neighbourhood Skate Club
- Barriers and visibility
- The fight for space and equality
- The #MeToo movement
- Lyndsay’s own lived experiences
- Telling a wider story
- The power of 1-on-1 skate lessons
- Working in a male-dominated space
- How the social contract works – and why it needs subverting
- Reactions from the community
- ‘..creating space and opportunities for women and queer people..’
- Speaking up about violence against women
- Maintaining the passion
- Promoting collaboration
- Surprise bonuses
- Diversifying the industry
- Flipping trauma
- Respect and promoting change
- Richmond Hill
- New York
- Victoria Park