Pink Devil, who then went by her given name, was introduced to derby’s dark underworld by fellow derby girl VaVa Voom. “The first event I went to was mud wrestling and I thought ‘this is rad, I’m doing this.’” Even though she knew nothing about roller derby, she found herself instantly consumed.
Pink officially joined the Sacred City Derby Girls in 2008, the so-called old Roller King days, when fresh meat skated in the corner of the rink while the big girls dominated the track. After about one month of practice and the loss of most of the other fresh meat, Pink Devil found herself skating alone in the corner. That night she started playing with the big girls, and has ever since.
Pink recently retired because she had to move and says, “I refuse to skate with any other team than Sacred. I miss my team, I miss my girls, I will always wear pink and burgundy and I will always be Pink Devil.” Was her injury worth it? Absolutely! When asked what she won’t miss she became silent for a long time and finally concluded that she will not miss the freezing cold in the warehouse. Apparently she will miss stinky pads and aching feet. It’s just part of being a derby girl.
Over a bloody Mary and a hang over at the Lime Light (where else) I asked her the following questions:
What position did you play the most?
Why did you choose the name Pink Devil?
I wanted a name with personal significance. Breast cancer ribbons are pink and breast cancer is an important issue to me. But, I’m also kind of an asshole, so I wanted both sides of the spectrum. So I’m Pink Devil.
What is your most memorable derby experience?
My first bout. [She doesn’t remember who it was against, only that it was a double header.] I was having a bad day! I had kicked my husband out of the house for sleeping with my friend that afternoon. I left and went straight to the rink. All the girls were so supportive. They said, ‘You totally don’t have to play.’ and I said, ‘No, f*** that, I’m playing!’ It was wonderful to have that support and to have an outlet for my anger.
How has derby most changed your life?
It gave me the strength to let myself be exactly who I am. Being surrounded by phenomenal women, I was able to feed off their confidence. Their strength solidified who I was. I’m happier now than I ever was.
Any advice for future derby girls?
Don’t get frustrated with yourself, that’s when you lose it. Everything will come as it’s supposed to, as far as skills go. Don’t get a big head. Don’t think you’re better than you are. Always push. You aren’t the best! Shut up and listen to your coach and listen to the seasoned girls; they know what they‘re talking about. Someone is always better than you.