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At Kansas City's Goofball Sk8boards, an LGBTQ safe space, being a newbie skater is cool

Joan and Harper Rose
Hoping to make Kansas City's skateboarding scene more inclusive, Joan and Harper Rose opened Goofball Sk8boards, an indoor skate park and shop in Waldo that serves underrepresented skaters.

Local queer couple Joan and Harper Rose opened Goofball Sk8boards last year in the Waldo neighborhood after feeling tired of the judgment that often comes with the skate scene. The shop and indoor park, where the Roses teach lessons, is a place to learn — and be goofy — in a safe and sober environment.

Skateboarding, which was invented and popularized by California surfers in the mid-20th century, historically has had a misfit or outsider identity. That's changed in the past decade; Skateboarding has gone mainstream, and is even an Olympic sport.

But a lot of skaters, especially women and LGBTQ people, still don’t feel very welcome in the scene.

Hoping to change that narrative, Kansas City couple Joan and Harper Rose opened Goofball Sk8boards, an indoor skate park and shop in the Waldo neighborhood created as a space for underrepresented skaters.

"People wanted a place where they could practice and learn without judgement," Joan Rose told KCUR's Up To Date.

The Roses are fundraising to make the park free to use each month. Along with free admission, public donations go toward cutting the cost of lessons and clinics by 25%, according to Goofball's GoFundMe.

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