First think you need to know: Rayven and Claire are not a couple. Haha. Although many assume that when see them together, they’re just really good friends who embarked together on this strong, beautiful project called Lonely Bones, Boston’s first BIPOC + queer led skate, art and style playground, as they describe it.
The project was launched in 2020 and works as a safe space where girls, women, genderfluid and gender non-conforming folks who are passionate about skating can get their wheels rolling, improve their skills and just have fun. It’s also a great opportunity to find a crew and build community with other people who share the same interest in adventure sports, which are typically so limited to a masculine scenery.
With a background in engineering, Claire is used to not seeing people who look like her occupying the spaces. During college, it was a big goal for her to create spaces where people of color would feel welcomed. Since she’s rarely had someone to look up to, she feels glad to be that person for others and inspire younger generations to embrace diversity.
Claire grew up in a white, cis, heteronormative community, partially in Seattle and partially in New Jersey, and the only LGBTQIA+ exposure she got was the typical prepackaged, commercialized image, surrounded by rainbows and flags but very little plurality. So for a long time she tried to follow the script that was expected from someone with her characteristics. It took a while until she met other people who felt the same way and then she allowed herself to fully explore her sexuality. The Lonely Bones' friends, volunteers and supporters have played a huge role in this transformation.
For Rayven, the idea of gender and sexuality came relatively late. Even though she grew up in Houston, Texas, which according to her is a pretty liberal city compared to other Southern communities, she spent her teenage years debating if she was asexual. Nobody at her school seemed to know what that meant, so it didn’t even occur to her to look for a community to talk about it. All of her knowledge about asexuality at the time came from articles she would read on Tumblr or Reddit.
When Rayven finally felt comfortable telling someone, the person told other people and made her feel horrible. So she somehow shut it down and felt like she didn’t want to open that can of worms ever again. It was only after moving to Boston to start college in 2016 that Rayven was able to navigate through this matter again.
Over here, she has found friends who work as a channel of communication and feels like she can have open dialogues without being looked sideways. Nowadays, she’s still figuring things out and considers herself more of a no label type of person.
If you want to know more about Rayven, Claire and the incredible Lonely Bones, follow the project page on Instagram.