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Trans Skater Leo Baker On Quitting the Olympics & Hanging With Miley

Trans Skater Leo Baker On Quitting the Olympics & Hanging With Miley

His story is the subject of the new Netflix documentary Stay On Board.

simbernardo

At 30 years old trans nonbinary skater Leo Baker has already lived an extraordinary life — and he’s just getting started.

That life is now the subject of the Netflix documentary Stay On Board: The Leo Baker Story which explores both Baker’s career as a professional skateboarder as well as his life-changing journey of self-discovery.

While the film does showcase some difficult times that Baker faced and the sacrifices he made,  it is ultimately a tale about perseverance, courage, and standing your ground – it’s incredibly inspirational, particularly for LGBTQ+ viewers.

Besides being an extremely talented skater, Baker runs the company Glue Skateboards and just released his brand-new single as a musician titled “Hold Me Til We’re Home.”

During an exclusive interview with PRIDE, Baker talked about his journey on Stay On Board, his thoughts on why it took such a long time for skateboarding to become an Olympic sport, and why he decided to say no to competing in the 2020 Olympics, among other things.

“Skating is more of a creative thing. Skateboarding competitions, when they first started, they were like, competitive but also fun – and nobody took it seriously,” he told PRIDE.

“Skating is its own thing, so it’s really hard to judge and put points on things when so much is contingent on, like, style and choices that you make. But then, when it gets to be in that [competitive] zone, people start to figure out what to do… it becomes strategic, and it’s boring. I get really bored watching it because I’m like, ‘OK, I know what they’re all going to do.’ And that’s the opposite of what skating is,” he added.

Baker’s perspective ultimately led up to his decision of saying no to competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Besides feeling like skateboarding just isn’t a great fit for a competitive environment with a points system. “Not to mention that the [International Olympic Committee] is actually really messed up as an institution,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Nobody wanted them there.’ (…) For so many reasons, I was like, ‘I am so glad that I’m not there participating in this toxic sh*t.’ I just can’t stand it.”

You can watch PRIDE’s full interview with Leo Baker below.

Another exciting moment in Baker’s career was getting featured in Miley Cyrus’ music video for “Mother’s Daughter.”

“That was surreal,” Baker recalled. “Her team hit up mine and just wanted to have me in there I guess because of being outspoken as a trans nonbinary skater. And I was like, ‘Obviously yes I want to do that.’”

Baker then talked about his experience meeting Cyrus and what it meant to be featured in this particular music video.

“She was really nice to me for the brief moment that I got to meet her,” he said. “I was like, ‘Wow, this is a crazy day.’ It was obviously a huge honor to be recognized in that space because the message in the song is honoring people who are fighting for stuff that matters.”

It’s a message that is near and dear to Baker’s heart, who has in turn become an inspirational figure to many in the LGBTQ+ community. For those who aren’t familiar with his story Stay On Board is a great entry point for queer folks to witness someone embrace their most authentic self, and thrive

Stay On Board: The Leo Baker Story premieres August 11 on Netflix.

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Bernardo Sim

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Bernardo Sim is experiencing the queer pop culture multiverse. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim is experiencing the queer pop culture multiverse. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.