Los Alamos Derby Dames: What Pride Means

Los Alamos Derby Dames recruit new members in 2019 at the Los Alamos Pride Festival. Courtesy/LADD

By KELLY DOLEJSI
Friends of Los Alamos Pride

Two successful Pride Weeks and one pandemic later, Pride Week returns to Los Alamos June 5-13. This year’s theme is “Coming Out After COVID.”

This series of mini-profiles aims to highlight as many LGBTQIA-friendly local businesses as possible. Email kdolejsi@gmail.com if you own a business or run an organization and want to extend your support to Los Alamos Pride Week.

Regardless of whether you own a business, follow Los Alamos Pride on Facebook and Los Alamos Pride Week on Instagram to learn more about upcoming events.

“The LGBT+ community is our community,” said Michele Holtkamp, a.k.a. Valkyrie, a member of the Los Alamos Derby Dames (LADD) and the team’s membership/retention chair.

The Derby Dames have been involved in every in-person Pride Week Los Alamos has held, setting up recruitment booths at the Los Alamos Pride Festivals in 2018 and 2019. 

“Pride is a celebration of our family, a time to reaffirm our support of LGBT+ causes, and, as a nonprofit, a chance to recruit new members,” Holtkamp said. “As part of the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association, our competitive team is inclusive of trans women, intersex, and gender expansive skaters. We want local LGBT+ folx to know that Roller Derby is for them.”

Holtkamp emphasized that roller derby is “one of the most inclusive sports in the world and the diversity of our members, officials, volunteers and fans is what makes this sport as wonderful as it is”.

As a nonprofit, the Dames support local causes when able. Right now, the team is selling its LADD Pride logo shirts with the profits to be donated to Self Help’s fund to help financially insecure LGBTQ+ youth. Get yours here: https://www.bonfire.com/ladd-pride-2021/.

The Dames also intend to help out during Pride Week’s movie night, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, at the ice rink, their “beloved home”.

Holtkamp said she and the rest of the team are excited to take part in Pride Week 2021.

“This community in general can feel small and appear cis/white/heteronormative,” she said. “Pride in Los Alamos proves that we are so much more.”

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