Calleigh Little is hoping to become the first woman to skateboard solo from one side of America to the other.
She began her journey just under two weeks ago after about a month of planning and mapping out her route. But her trans journey came much earlier.
Little came out as transgender to her parents and family at the age of 22, four years ago.
She told Gay Star News: ‘I used to sneak out of my window and drive to an abandoned parking lot to dress “en femme” and go to the bars.
‘I had already been on hormones for a year when I finally dropped the news to my parents,’ she revealed.
But she’s been skating in various forms all her life.
She said: ‘I street skated with my friends in elementary school, and eventually started longboarding to commute to high school and college.
‘I started doing really long distances right around when I started transitioning, and I have been competing for two years,’ she said.
‘Trans-America is a way for me to show the world that women kick ass!’
Calleigh Little calls her adventure Trans-America and her reasons for undertaking the adventures are admirable to say the least.
She said: ‘Trans-America is a way for me to show the world that women kick ass!’
‘I want to open up doors for trans women to feel more comfortable coming out and achieving their dreams.
‘I’ve dreamed of this skate for years and it took so much to be able to get here. I think all women should feel empowered to be daring and to take on impossible challenges.
‘If I can get one girl on a skateboard to just let the bullshit go and focus on what they can do instead of what they can’t, I will have succeeded,’ she said.
She set up a GoFundMe page to partially fund her expenses on the trip. But 15% of the money raised goes to Water.org, a charity dedicated to making potable water accessible for everyone.
The trip hasn’t all completely gone to plan though.
She recounts: ‘My current most memorable moment is when I accidentally navigated to the Oregon Trail and had to hike for 16 miles after skating for 16 miles.
‘I ran out of water early, the sun set, and I was absolutely in the middle of nowhere. When I finally hit pavement again, I was treated so well by everyone at the Boise Stage Stop, and even made a friend for life,’ she said.
She revealed other women have completed the journey with expert cross country skater Jack Smith, but she is the first to do it entirely unsupported and alone.
Trans-America: the blog
Calleigh Little is documenting her trip on a Tumblr blog, with daily entries. In it, she writes about memorable moments and inspiring thoughts from the day.
But at the start of each post, there’s a rating scale of various things. Among them is a ‘Stoke factor,’ ‘Miserableness factor’ and ‘Snot Rockets Factor.’
The first rating scale is how excited she was that day and the second rating scale is how miserable the ride actually was for the day.
But the last one is a little more interesting. She explains: ‘Snot Rocket Factor is a count of how many times I held one nostril and blew the snot out of the other one.
‘I think it will be interesting to see what makes me phlegm up at the end of this – is it temperature, elevation, how hard I worked?’
She originally planned to complete the skate within 40 days, then that changed to 45 days. But now she’s just taking each day as it comes.
She now jokes: ‘Hopefully before December!’