Meet The Nieratkos: The First Transsexual Skateboarder
Jun 9 2011
Remember today’s date, folks. 6-9-11. (I think, “Sexy 9-11!” to help me memorise it.) Today is the day that skateboarding’s landscape changes forever. Today the world meets Hillary Thompson: the first transsexual skater.
The first time I’d heard talk of Hillary Thompson, my muse from Raleigh, North Carolina, I dismissed it as urban legend. I likened the stories to those of the Loch Ness Monster and the Easter Bunny – it’d be cool if it was real, but I'm doubtful.
Then one day, about six months into my search for her online and through friends in NC, my phone rang. My friend, Mike Sinclair (Toy Machine and Foundation’s team manager) was on the other end. He was at a skate spot in Raleigh and had found Hillary.
I immediately called my friends at King Shit. King Shit is a Canadian skateboard magazine that employs Dave Carnie and myself and allows us to do whatever silly business we like, much like the Big Brother days. I knew they would be the only fit for Hillary’s story.
Once I had the green light and Hillary’s phone number things moved very quickly. I was on a plane bound for Raleigh with my wife and son to meet Hillary face to face within weeks.
I both loved and pitied the girl I met down there. So much of skateboarding has become so vanilla and boring that my heart sings on the rare occasions when I meet someone marching to their own beat, and to me, there’s nothing more punk rock than being a transsexual skateboarder. That comes with a lot of headaches, though. Inner turmoil. Alienation. Fear. Loneliness. When I met Hillary she was going through all these things and more, and you can feel it in her interview. It took over an hour of talking over coffee before she let her guard down and warmed up to me.
All of this is very new to Hillary, and she’s still learning to deal with her change and to be comfortable around her old friends in her skate community. I think this interview will help speed that along. She’s young. I think in two years she’ll be more at ease with herself. In five or ten years I can see her blossoming into a happy, confident young lady.
This video and interview are my Sistine Chapel. My Mona Lisa. In one hundred years I don’t think I could be prouder than I am today. The day I bring you Hillary’s story.
To read Hillary’s full interview go to Kingshitmag.com