"Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
This is a small section of my derby story, but is far and away the ugliest piece of my involvement with this great sport. After months of internal debate on whether to tell it, I decided it deserves to be voiced. This story also marks the return of my blogging, which is assuredly a piece of my derby past that often throws me into controversy. But I don't fear controversy; over my years of being involved in derby, I have watched drama and the threat of controversy used as a tool within my former team and league to keep the status quo for certain priviliged people. I have often taken on the role of speaking about things that no one wants to acknowledge; that combined with my disregard for potential controversy makes me the perfect voice for this story. It's actually even easier now that I have no league allegiances because people can't even make it about putting on a face for the sake of the league. No no, this will be told regardless of the predictable drama and character assassination that is sure to follow.
In my experience, derby leagues often repeat the same mistakes as another league. That is what it is. However, the story I'm about to tell is a mistake that's only repeated because it's a dirty little secret. Every effort is made by the parties involved to sweep the disrespect and douchebaggery under the nearest rug. If the story isn't out there, then of course the same mistakes will be repeated. And why not hide such things from your community? Owning one's actions is an incredibly difficult thing to do as it is and that's especially the case when one's actions are less than ethical. I don't believe that being accountable is a natural human characteristic either and if it's not natural, then it should never be an expectation. So part of my hope is that by discussing the ugliness I experienced from people I trusted and sacrificed for, maybe just one league won't do something along those same lines.
Personally, I've been accountable for my words and actions, more than most and usually to my own detriment. I can accept that being accountable doesn't sit well with people. I can also accept that my willingness to speak candidly about most any subject does result in my foot entering my own mouth from time to time and/or offending people. Or that my temper does get the best of me in the heat of the moment and later after some reflection, I need to apologize for my mistakes. I think that's all a part of being accountable. If one does not speak up for oneself or a team or just what they believe in, then that person will never be put in a position to be accountable.
Because of how much offense I took away from the actions of my former team and knowing that I'm not the only one to have this taste left in my mouth by a WFTDA team, my story will see the light of day. I won't pretend that I'm fully healed from what happened to me, but I intend on leaving as much emotion from this as possible. Having said that, I know there will be points where it's there as I'm not a robot yet. I'm also aware that people will read into this story however they want and that certain former friends and current barely friends will be upset with what I have to say or that I'm talking about it publicly. Frankly, I accept that potential consequence willingly as I firmly believe this subjects needs exposure and I can't allow the prospect of losing "friends" to dictate my heart on this matter. Luckily in this case, my personal catharsis happily coincides with exposing the disrespect that tends to permeate this sport. And so it begins.