Skateboarder, model, musician, actress, community organizer–modern renaissance woman Briana King does it all. She’s known for making skateboarding more accessible to all, especially beginner female skaters. Her backstory is unique: she grew up in east LA, booked a one way ticket to Australia when she was 18, and was scouted as a model. After issues with her visa, she flew back to the States and settled in New York. She then started skateboarding and cultivating an empowering community of women and LGBTQ skaters. Notably, she runs display.only, which hosts girl skate sessions in large cities and posts educational skateboarding videos.
Skateboarding is notorious for dominated by young white men (some of whom who are misogynistic), and exclusive. For many young women or queer skaters, entering the skatepark or even just skating around is intimidating for the fear of judgment from others. Beginner skaters, especially girls, are often prone to hate comments and overall negativity from gatekeepers. While skateboarding is becoming much more diverse and welcoming than it was before, Briana King works to further promote inclusivity and enjoyment of skating for everyone. Through skateboarding meetups and even a nationwide tour, King has developed a large following of fans eager to skate. By encouraging young skaters to have fun and get back up, she promotes a supportive and growing community of womxn skaters.
To Briana King, skateboarding and community building is a lifestyle. In an interview with Jenkem Magazine, King explains that “I never had homies who I felt comfortable being myself around, so I was like, ‘I’m going to keep skating forever because this is where I feel the most comfortable, the most open, the most happy.’ So even if the meetups weren’t my job, or brought me income, this is my life and what showed me how I’m supposed to feel and what I was searching for my whole life.” During a global pandemic, hobbies like skateboarding have become even more important.