WORDS: Stu Gomez
As skateboarding’s most prominent gender-queer non-binary pro, Leo Baker is known for highlighting topics such as identity and equality. Baker uses they/them pronouns and strives to simply be themselves at all times. That can be extremely difficult when you’re in the public eye, but Baker has shown that it’s not only feasible, it’s absolutely critical; the 28-year-old’s career thus far can be considered the blueprint for maintaining your authentic identity against all odds.
In the video for Nike SB’s latest Orange Label collection (below), Baker goes about their daily routine (with fellow SB teammate Brian Anderson) which includes discussions on art, music, tattoos, and zines. Their personality and interests are uncategorizable, helping to place Baker among skateboarding’s most exciting thought leaders.
The road from Lacey to Leo was a long one, and The Berrics is pleased to have been a part of Baker’s journey. They first appeared on the site in 2008 after several incredible filming sessions, at a time when “girl skater” marketing was stringently binary, and gradually increased their exposure by eschewing the standard hallmarks that identify a “girl skater.” Baker purposely took control of the binary narrative that steered their career, and today they are one of the most respected and accomplished skaters… period.
In 2017, Baker was named as The Berrics’ Populist winner, after an astounding year which included street parts and contest wins. Over the next few years, Baker embarked on a media blitz in which they spoke out about gender identity, educating and uniting an audience at a time when all hell seemed to have broken loose around the world. Baker’s leadership served as an inspiring reminder why the skateboarding community is so unique—the overwhelming support killed any notions about skaters not being mature enough to engage in these types of conversations.
Baker’s fresh ink.
Last year’s WBATB series, the first of its kind, saw Baker in their gleeful element. Every match and interview was prime Baker: this is someone who is at their best in friendly competition, and they brought that enthusiasm and joy all the way to the Final Four. With Baker’s involvement in our flagship contest series, the games of S.K.A.T.E. became elevated in more ways than one.
By using skateboarding as a platform for discussing gender identity and equality, Baker has expanded the conversation beyond tricks and fashion. The future of skateboarding is a compassionate, inclusive one. To reinforce that cultural goal, Nike SB is releasing a gender-neutral collection with Leo Baker, including gear for everybody’s body.
Learn more about Leo Baker’s Nike SB Orange Label collection here.