We are now Queen City Roller Derby!
With the growth of the league, many of the most integral members of Queen City Roller Girls were men, non-binary, or transgender people. It became apparent that holding on to the word “girls” in Queen City Roller Girls was not acknowledging many of our officials, coaches, leaders, and skaters who do not identify as women. We pride ourselves on being an empowering sport, teaching womxn to take up space. The term “girls” excludes important members of our league and infantilizes the strength and resilience our athletes have and strive for.
Thank you for helping us become more inclusive in our transition to becoming Queen City Roller Derby!
Press Release follows:
Queen City Roller Girls, Buffalo’s Sanctioned Roller Derby League, Changes Their Name to Queen City Roller Derby In A Move Towards Inclusivity
BUFFALO, NY – Queen City Roller Girls was founded in 2006 as an all-women flat track league. Over the past 14 years, the league has grown and flourished. They started their first season with 30 skaters and three teams. Today, there are over 75 active skaters including players and their own officiating staff. They have even more non-skating volunteers!
With the growth of the league,we have welcomed more people who identify as, men, non-binary, or gender non-conforming. It became apparent that holding on to the word “girls” in Queen City Roller Girls was not acknowledging many of our officials, coaches, leaders, and skaters who do not identify as women. In the initial proposal to change the name, PR heads Shannon Liggett (Threat Level Midnight) and Lauren Hare (Kylau Ren) write: “We pride ourselves on being an empowering sport, teaching womxn to take up space when we may have been taught that being polite and quiet were more important than standing up for ourselves. The term “girls” infantilizes the strength and resilience our athletes have and strive for.”
At their Home Team Season Opener on January 10, 2020 Queen City Roller Girls will officially transition to the name, Queen City Roller Derby (QCRD). This is a trend in many Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) leagues. Before each game of the 2020 season, QCRD will read their anti-abuse policy to make the league a protected and safe place for all members and volunteers who identify as LGBTQIA+. It is QCRD’s policy that any individual who feels more comfortable playing in a WFTDA league than in a Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA) they are welcomed to play in any of their home teams or sanctioned travel teams, no matter how they identify.
Queen City Roller Derby hopes this transition will continue to support their mission to empower athletes to grow in a safe, inclusive space. We have included the initial letter written to the QCRD board requesting the name change.
Queen City Roller Derby (QCRD) has been in WNY for fourteen years and are now in their 14th season. The 2020 is their sixth season at Buffalo Riverworks. QCRD has five teams: The internationally ranked Lake Effect Furies, the B-level travel team the Subzero Sirens, and three house teams: the Alley Kats, the Devil Dollies, and the Saucies, with over 70 skaters ranging in ages from 18 to 50. QCRD is an all-volunteer run organization.
QCRD is a member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) which has over 1,000 member leagues on every continent. Roller derby is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, as well as one of two full-contact sports for women (the other one is rugby).
*** Original Proposal Made in August 2019 ***
We are writing to request a league-wide vote to change our name from Queen City Roller Girls to Queen City Roller Derby. Hopefully, if passed, we can transition before our 2020 season. This would require a vote sooner than later. Doing so may also give us enough time to order merchandise branded with our new name. Our reasons for this proposed change is multi faceted:
As members of WFTDA, we abide by the WFTDA gender policy, which states we are “…committed to inclusive and anti-discrimination practices in relation to all transgender women, intersex women, and gender expansive participants, and aims to ensure that all skaters’, volunteers’, and employees’ rights are respected and protected.” This, coupled with our new anti-abuse policy that is announced before every bout, shows our commitment to the support of our LGBTQIA+ friends involved with our league. We need to honor this commitment with everything we do as a league, and the name “roller girls” does not represent our mission, nor our league mates.
We see the need to stay up-to-date within our sport, and more importantly, to do better when we learn that our words have a negative impact on others. Many other high-ranking WFTDA teams have transitioned from “roller girls” to “roller derby,” and we’d like for our Subzero Sirens and Lake Effect Furies to carry this new league name proudly to WFTDA tournaments and games across the country.
We pride ourselves on being an empowering sport, teaching womxn to take up space when we may have been taught that being polite and quiet were more important than standing up for ourselves. The term “girls” infantilizes the strength and resilience our athletes have and strive for.
Lastly, we are not just a womxn-filled league. We want to be a safe and inclusive space for men, womxn, and every person who wants to be part of our community. Our league would not be where it is today without many men who coach, hold leadership positions, referee, and support friends and family in the league through volunteering.
Thank you for taking this request into consideration.
Threat Level Midnight and Kylau Ren, PR chairs