Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-01-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Lesbian grandmother leads roller-derby team
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2013-02-27

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Lori Danko was a skateboarder growing up, claims to secretly be an artist, and someday wants to give stand-up comedy a shot. She is a roller derby standout, the captain for the Double Crossers of Windy City Rollers fame under the moniker Busty BraBender, plus, she's the mother of two daughters and grandmother of one.

"I feel young, healthy and strong, but have come accustomed to living with Icy Hot and ice packs as a daily norm," Danko said, laughing.

After all, she's 41 now and only started in roller derby three years ago.

"I had not been on roller skates for at least 20 years when I decided I was going to try out," for the Windy City Rollers, she said. "I had a few friends who were playing and they convinced me to try. There was a person who also said, 'It is hard, and not for everyone; you could be a volunteer.' I was furious [with the comment]; I was determined [to make it].

"Frankly, that woman was right in some ways. I have watched more women come and go, but I have also watched women dig in and push themselves harder than they ever knew they could. If you had told me [years ago that], when I turned 38, I would try-out for a sport where I got knocked down hundreds of times, [then just] get up and keep going, and love it, I would have laughed in your face. Now, 3 1/2 years later, I am still playing with all my heart and soul.

"I have been injured, succeeded, lost, cried, laughed and, at the end of the day, I have learned so much about myself. Roller derby presented an opportunity to play a competitive sport as an adult. It helped me learn how strong I am, and how much stronger I can be. I learned that roller derby is a big family, and whatever city you visit, the roller derby team there becomes your family, too."

Danko moved from Grand Rapids, Mich., to Chicago in August 2011. She now lives in Wicker Park and is a nurse at Illinois Masonic Hospital.

"I love working [at Illinois Masonic]; they have embraced me and that I play roller derby with open arms," Danko said. "The diversity of the staff [at Illinois Masonic] is valued and welcoming, and you can truly see that when you walk in the door."

Danko is in a relationship with Sindy Ning, who she tagged as, "the most amazing and supportive person on earth, and with a great sense of humor." Danko added, "I am openly gay, but don't really love 'terms' placed on people. We are all human and, at the end of the day, that is how I treat everyone. If we could all open our hearts and minds to the love all around us, this world would be such an amazing place."

Danko, who graduated from the University of Detroit-Mercy, is the much-tattooed leader of her derby team. Her skin art include a black cat and cheetah print on her left upper arm in honor of her cat that died in a house fire in 2005. She also, on her left inner upper arm, has the quote 'the rule I play by' with the numbers 2.2.2 tattooed. "This is a rule for roller derby, meaning, 'the team with the most points win.'"

In high school, Danko played soccer, swam competitively and also ran cross country.

So why roller derby?

"It's a complicated answer," she began. "I discovered at [age] 38 that I was an athlete, that I was capable of anything—like the runner who starts jogging, then runs a 5K [race] and ultimately becomes a marathon runner. That runner discovered something about themselves, something inside themselves."

Danko did, too.

"Playing for Windy City Rollers is tough," she said. "Most people don't know that we don't get paid. Instead, we go out every month and promote our own events. Most of us have full-time jobs, and a large number of the skaters have children. The training to play this competitively also requires lots of training. Windy City Rollers offers opportunities to train seven days a week. My typical schedule is skate three or four days a weeks, daily workouts [in a gym], and Crossfit. I train like every other athlete, including [focusing on a healthy] diet."

Danko said the highlights of her Windy City Rollers career jumping the apex during a game last season and landing it, plus winning against Hells Belles in the charity bout.

"I have played all positions [in derby], but prefer to be a blocker. I love to hit hard, and love when other skaters hit you and it doesn't move you at all," she said.

So what's with the derby name, Busty BraBender?

"I had a hard time finding a name as [the first name], no one [understood] and another [potential name] was already taken by another skater," she said. "A teammate made comments [that] when I hit them in the chest, it bent their bra, or broke their bra, so BraBender was born."


facebook twitter pin it 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

Gay News

Dress Code exhibit includes Black lesbians in South Africa, dressing as a statement 2018-01-17 - The exhibit Dress Code at the Art Institute of Chicago shows in photos Black lesbians in their everyday attire. Runs through April 22, ...


Gay News

Center on Halsted to host Black History Month Series, At the Intersections 2018-01-17 - CHICAGO ( January 11, 2018 ) — Center on Halsted is proud to announce the Center will be hosting a series of Black ...


Gay News

Kelly McGillis flag-football event Jan. 22-29 2018-01-17 - Teams of women and girls from around the world are to meet for adrenaline-packed sporting events and activities Jan. 22-29 during the 27th ...


Gay News

Chicago Sky hire assistant coach 2018-01-17 - The Chicago Sky have hired former NBA player and Chicago native Awvee Storey as an assistant coach. Storey, 40, joins head coach Amber ...


Gay News

Creating Change co-founder Sue Hyde preps her last conference 2018-01-17 - LGBTQ activist and community organizer Sue Hyde has been an esteemed co-founder of the Creating Change conference for the past 30 years. Her ...


Gay News

Maria Hadden aiming to be first Black queer Chicago alderman, in 2019 2018-01-17 - Maria Hadden has lived in Rogers Park for 10 years. It was her first neighborhood in Chicago, and after brief forays west, she ...


Gay News

TELEVISION TV special, Sighted Eyes, Feeling Heart, tells Lorraine Hansberry's story 2018-01-17 - In high school, Tracy Heather Strain's grandmother took her to see a production of Young, Gifted and Black, a play drawn from the ...


Gay News

Black Lives Matter co-founder Cullors in Chicago Jan. 23 2018-01-15 - Patrisse Khan-Cullors brings her book tour to Chicago Tuesday, Jan. 23, 7 p.m., at the Wilson Abbey, 935 W. Wilson, Chicago, hosted with ...


Gay News

Tret Fure to perform folk concert Jan. 22 at Oak Park Public Library 2018-01-15 - Tret Fure Performs Folk Concert Jan. 22 at Oak Park Public Library Folk musician Tret Fure will perform a free Folk Concert on ...


Gay News

Chicago-based E3 radio goes live 24/7 2018-01-15 - After eight years of shows, E3 Radio is going live 24/7/365 from http://e3radio.fm . "This is a very exciting time for us ...


 



Copyright © 2018 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

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.