On Monday, transgender advocate, cyclist, and businessperson Molly Cameron announced the formation of RIDE (Riders Inspiring Diversity and Equality), an advocacy group with the mission of creating a more inclusive cycling industry and sport.
According to Cameron, the group will provide a much-needed confidential point of contact for the LGBTQ+ community to directly interface with the bicycling industry and sport, while also acting as a resource for business leaders to interface with the LGBTQ+ community.
“After observing our sport and industry’s inability to effectively lead us through navigating the current wave of discriminatory legislation sweeping the United States I chose to act,” Cameron said.
In an email from Cameron on Monday, the Portland-based shop and team owner said that for the past 20 years, she has also been serving as a de facto confidant to hundreds of people, who have filled her mailbox and inbox with questions and concerns.
“From youth, from parents, from athletes, from friends, employers and their employees,” she said. “Heck, I even get messages from enemies or individuals opposed to or questioning LGBTQ+ rights looking for help and guidance in understanding everything.”
Recently, Cameron’s advice been even more sought after, as the cycling world grapples with a spate of anti-trans legislation being passed across the country that could have major implications on trans youth wanting to participate in the sport.
Although Cameron is invigorated by the attention being paid to anti-trans action across the country, part of the impetus in forming RIDE is to have a support network baked into pro cycling’s permanent infrastructure. She uses the recent spotlight on Arkansas as an example.
“‘Cross worlds is gonna come and go and you’re still gonna be left with these issues,” she told VeloNews. “It’s not cycling’s job to do the work for the general public. Cycling should give a shit about everyone. If we want everyone on bikes then we should care about everyone who’s impacted by this. It serves everyone if you do this work.”
RIDE’s advisory board includes law, ethics and policy experts such as Christine Kalkschmid, Dr. Cara Gillis, and Vivian Satterfield.
Learn more about RIDE at www.ridegroup.org