Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-04-15
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

The right Outfit for roller derby
Special to the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Ross Forman
2010-10-06

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


For five years, Jasmine Styrczula has been the receptionist at Black Hearts Hair House, a Lakeview salon that boasts it is fun, hip, and all rock n' roll; its stylists can transform your look from modern conservative to totally punk.

Styrczula, 25, as her alter ego Lola Blow, is a jammer/blocker for the Chicago Outfit, a roller-derby league founded in the fall of 2007 that brags it is a democratic, not-for-profit organization run by the skaters and for the skaters.

The Chicago Outfit is an all-female, flat-track, roller-derby league dedicated to contributing charitably to other non-profit organizations. The group is part of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association ( WFTDA ) Apprentice Program.

Styrczula is class, sass and dignity—personally and professionally.

"I love everything about derby—the exercise, the fact that it's an aggressive contact sport for women, and being a part of a team," said Styrczula, who lives in Roscoe Village. "We are a not-for-profit organization run by the skaters for the skaters. We strive to keep a positive female community and donating to charities all over the world while, in return, giving you the best roller derby experience you have ever had."

Chicago Outfit skaters are in their 20s, 30s and 40s, although the majority are among the younger mix. There are students, teachers, professionals and more. "Basically, if you left our whole league stranded on a deserted island, we could pretty much build an empire with all of the great things these girls do," Styrczula said.

Nine of the skaters are gay, including Styrczula.

"The Chicago Outfit is all over the LGBT community," Styrczula said. "We have always been called one of the 'gayest derby leagues' in the whole country. Many of our girls skated in a nationwide team called the Vagine Regime, which consists of queer roller derby girls around the country. I would say half of the girls on that original team were from the Outfit. We also skate in the Gay Pride Parade every year. It's actually one of the most exciting events that we take part in.

"The Outfit has it all—bi, queer, lesbian, you name it. Without them, we would not be who we are today."

And that is, a proud skating group of Chicagoans that this season faces such national opponents in home meets—at the Windy City Fieldhouse—as teams from Minneapolis ( May 15 ) ; Columbus, Ohio ( June 5 ) ; Indianapolis ( Aug. 14 ) ; Sioux Falls, S.D. ( Sept. 11 ) ; and a double-header against Kalamazoo, Mich., and Lafayette, Ind. ( Oct. 9 ) .

"One of our major goals this year is to become a part of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association," Styrczula said. "We have been doing everything we can to become a nationally respected league, and I feel as though we have been doing a great job so far. I have the confidence that we will show other leagues around the country just how awesome we actually are. We can't wait to be able to play tournaments and be ranked regionally and nationally. I also feel like our constant goal is to keep being a league that is close to one another, respects each other, and would pretty much do anything for each other. It's the Outfit's style. We are kind of like a little gang, minus the unruly acts of violence."

So how does the Chicago Outfit differ from the Windy City Rollers?

"Well, we are an all travel league," Styrczula said. "The Windy City Rollers also have a travel team, but they have teams within their league that play [ against ] each other during their home season. We like the feel of having a smaller league that only plays other cities. I think this keeps us all much closer to each other and keeps our fans happy by bringing in new teams to play [ against ] . I would hate to play against some of my own teammates. The Outfit is also more of an underground 'rough around the edges' type of league. We all have a little gangster in our blood. We are also a not-for-profit organization, while the Windy City Rollers are an LLC."

The Outfit raises funds for many charities, such as local facility the Howard Brown Health Center.

In 2009, the Chicago Outfit donated $1,115 to Ignite the Spirit, an organization dedicated to raising money to support Chicago firefighters and their families. Other bouts raised funds for Huntington's Disease Society of America.

"The amount we donate is directly proportional to the number of fans who buy tickets and the amount we make over production costs," Styrczula said. " [ Since ] ticket sale numbers vary from bout to bout, we can't always promise we're going to be supplying the charity of choice with a check for some huge amount. We are realistic about our financial expectations, so we do what we can to promote the charity not only at the bout itself through announcements, program ads, and informational booths, but also when telling people to come to the bout itself.

"A common line among our skaters trying to sell tickets is, 'Hey, even if you think you can't come to the bout, you should buy a ticket anyway. Money will go toward Ignite the Spirit, which is this really great organization. Have you heard of it?' And after that conversation, even if the person still declines the purchase of the ticket because they have an irrational dislike for the sport of roller derby, they still walk away with the knowledge of Ignite the Spirit, maybe something they are more interested in supporting."

Added Code Adam, a referee and general manager for the Chicago Outfit: "I don't know exactly, but we raised a great chunk of money for some amazing charities [ in 2009. ] "

The Chicago Outfit will be fundraising in 2010 for such charities as Ignite the Spirit, Family of Moxie Mayhem, Derby News Network, Help Tequila, Girls Rock! Chicago, and Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network ( RAINN ) . They also will be skating together in the American Cancer Society's Walk and Roll Chicago on May 16.

"The 2009 season was very successful," Styrczula said. "It was much more successful than we thought it would be. We worked really hard to get that undefeated season, and it sure showed."

Things look just as optimistic for the 2010 run.

"We have so much fun playing roller derby, and we can definitely tell that our fans have just as much fun watching it," Styrczula said. "Our league consists of beautiful, athletic girls [ who ] will kick the crap out of our opponents. If that doesn't sound fun, I don't know what does."

Added Jennifer Stoodley, aka, Jennie Lee Von Slaughter: "Lola Blow is one of the most admired skaters on our team. She blocks so hard and is an awesome jammer. This versatility is part of what make her so great at derby; she can do whatever the team needs from her. Besides being a great skater, Lola has such a positive attitude and is always encouraging her teammates. Personally, she has been a huge derby inspiration. Watching Lola skate makes me want to work harder in hopes of someday being as skilled as she is. Lola works hard to be as great of a skater as she is, and she's always there to help other skaters on the team improve too."

One of the top Chicago Outfit skaters is Sweet Mary Pain, who also is the head coach and one of the group's best jammers. And, she is a student, studying to be a doctor.

Another Chicago Outfit standout is Smashley Destructo, who is a pivot, "and boy you do not want to get hit by her, [ or ] you will seriously go flying across the track in mid air. Believe me; it's happened to me more than once," Styrczula said. Smashley also is a grade school teacher.

"The Chicago Outfit really takes pride in being a different kind of roller derby league," Styrczula said. "We are more than just a team; we are a family and I love that. Also, even if we don't win every game, we will always win the after party, so come party with us after our games."

For more about Chicago Outfit, go to www.chicagooutfitrollerderby.com .


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Chicago Smelts dominate Illinois Masters Swimming Association meet 2015-04-15
Life at 80: Renee Richards on and off the tennis court 2015-04-15
Force wins over West Michigan Mayhem 2015-04-13
Sports: Women's soccer league; Proud to Run 2015-04-07
Athlete Ally, Lambda to host #Final4Fairness on Indiana 2015-04-03
Sports: Women's soccer league; Chicago Quarter Marathon 2015-04-01
Final tipoff of the annual Coady Roundball Classic 2015-03-31
Thousand Waves marks 30 years of mission-driven work 2015-03-25
Accepting HIV status is 'strength' for Chicago athlete 2015-03-25
Chicago Quarter Marathon on April 4 2015-03-25
Olympic champ Evan Lysacek talks real estate, brutality of skating 2015-03-18
World: Lesbian tennis player; restroom situation; IKEA website 2015-03-17
Proud to Run opens race registration, names beneficiaries 2015-03-14
New-look Chicago Force eyes return to national championship form 2015-03-14
SCOTCH bowling tourney grows in second year 2015-03-04
Gay Games 9: Financial success and lasting memories 2015-03-04
Sox great Minnie Minoso passes away 2015-03-04
Sports notes: Women's tourney March 7-10; Hockey event needs volunteers 2015-03-03
White Sox legend Minnie Minoso passes away 2015-03-01
Chicago endurance athlete Hupe excels in marathon, Ironman 2015-02-25
Gay Games generated $6.8M; Sports Hall of Fame noms due 2015-02-24
Report: Michael Sam to take up 'Dancing' 2015-02-24
National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame nominations open 2015-02-19
For gay diver, ring is more important than championship 2015-02-18
Strike Out Hunger raises funds for Heartland 2015-02-09
National Women's Soccer League announce 2015 regular season 2015-02-06
Chicago Sky starts season on Nat'l Girls and Women in Sports Day 2015-02-02
Second City Open Tournament Chicago registration begins 2015-02-01
DISH: Crew Sports Bar + Grill; Leghorn expands 2015-01-28
'Mr. Cub' Ernie Banks dies 2015-01-26
CGHA to skate at Soldier Field after Hockey City Classic 2015-01-24
Softball player critically injured at gay tournament in Las Vegas 2015-01-22
Longtime banker hooked on triathlons 2015-01-21
Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self-Defense Center celebrates 30 years 2015-01-20
Int'l gay, lesbian football championship in Madison in August 2015-01-09
Report: Michael Sam engaged 2015-01-09
TOP CHICAGO SPORTS STORY OF 2014 Retiring quarterback Grisafe 2014-12-31
Top 10 Chicago LGBT sports moments of 2014 2014-12-31
Navratilova marries 2014-12-24
Top world LGBT stories of 2014 2014-12-17
 



Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.