Leo Baker to be the first nonbinary skater in Tony Hawk Pro Skater reboot
Eighteen years after the last Pro Skater game, the skating’s landscape has changed. So will the game.
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Leo Baker, a 28-year-old pro skateboarder, is going to be the first nonbinary skater to be featured in Activision’s Tony Hawk’s video game, pro Skater 1 & 2.
They are the third LGBTQ skater to be featured, alongside Elissa Steamer and Vanessa Torres.
The remastered game will be released on September 4, 2020 and will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC via the Epic Games Store.
“We’re proud that the remaster will represent the skate culture landscape today with a diverse roster of skaters that will appeal to any gamer,” said Michelle Bresaw, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing at Activision.
In an interview with Nike, Baker said that they didn’t always feel accepted as a queer person by the skateboarding community.
They explained that once they chose to present more masculine, instead of conforming to the feminine, which is more marketable, they struggled to find sponsorships and their career almost evaporated completely.
“The more I grew into my truest self, the less I felt a sense of belonging to the thing I love the most. But there are folks out there just like me who skate, who are womxn, who are queer, whose genders don’t align in the mainstream-these are people I want to skate with. These are the people I connect with,” said Baker.
Baker created the NYC Skate Project in order to create safe spaces for LGBT communities to skate together. The NYCSO hosts events like art shows and poetry workshops for people of any identity interested in skating.
Now this push for inclusion has reached the most successful skateboard gaming franchise in history.
Fans of the game on Twitter are very excited about the decision.
“I get to play as a real pro trans skateboarder in the new Tony Hawk game??? I’m crying,” wrote one fan.
Baker told NowThis that they are really humbled and that being featured in the newest release of the game is a dream come true.
“We used to play it before we’d go skating. 20 years later, it’s really cool that they’re showcasing a variety of different skateboarders,” they said.