This month we take a look at one of Nashville’s Rollergirls, Erin McCargar a.k.a. Tear Obite. Roller Derby season begins March 28, and I just can't wait! The Nashville Rollergirls are a skater-owned and operated, all-women roller derby league created in 2006 and a member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). The Nashville Rollergirls are also Nashville’s only professional WFTDA group. The NRG comprises several teams, including the Music City Allstars and the Music City Brawlstars.
To become a member of the top teams, a skater must battle it out and make the roster. The Music City All Stars are the top tiered team in the Nashville Rollergirls league. They compete against other roller derby teams across the country and end their season at the regional playoffs.
Erin McCargar is one of the elite few to have been honored with the title of Music City All Stars Co-Captain. She was born in Riverside, California, but has called Nashville home for 22 years. She has one sister, a loving wife, and a happy Airedale terrier.
Erin joined the Nashville Rollergirls after the WFTDA changed its gender guidelines to allow transgendered women to compete. She put on a pair of skates before seeing an actual game. She jumped in head first and has not looked back.
O&AN: How would you describe yourself?
McCargar: I am a co-captain of the Nashville Rollergirls All Stars, a web developer, science fiction geek, and a 33-year-old trans woman. I’ve been with my wife for 15 years, married for 10.
O&AN: Did you play any sports in school?
McCargar: I ran a bit of cross country in high school, wrestled just a little. More than that though, I studied Tae Kwon Do for nine years, earning a third degree black belt. I actually use a good bit of the body knowledge from that training in my derby play.
O&AN: When did you join NRG?
McCargar: My first 101 session was in May 2011, and I passed the minimum skills test in August. From that point I practiced with the league until my first public game in early 2012 with the Brawl Stars. I made the All Stars, our national travel team, in 2013 and again last year. This year they gave me the honor of choosing me to co-captain alongside Big Banger.
O&AN: What is your favorite thing about NRG?
McCargar: It is hard for me to pick out one thing I love the most about NRG. I spend my nights surrounded by women who are dedicated, hardworking, and completely unwilling to accept anything less than your best. We push each other, support each other, and have become a second family, with all the good and bad that entails.
O&AN: What is your favorite thing about Nashville?
McCargar: Nashville is a great city. Since I’ve started skating, I’ve been able to visit more places than I had ever before, and almost every time I’m glad to come back home. I think that Nashville’s ever-changing nature is the best thing... the familiar right alongside of the fresh and innovative.
O&AN: Do you promote any social causes?
McCargar: I believe very strongly that we have to work at learning to love and appreciate all the differences that exist within our culture. I personally approach this from an intersectional social justice perspective, trying to challenge racism and transphobia both inside and outside the LGBT community.
O&AN: What do you do for fun?
McCargar: To be honest, I don’t have a whole bunch of time for [other] fun activities. I usually skate four days a week, and lift at least one more. When you add in league responsibilities and my actual paying job, down time is scarce. That said, I love to curl up with a hot cup of tea and a book, or get some good old binge [TV] watching done. I’m a sucker for political or science fiction TV series.
Hey Nashville! Thank you for the warm and positive feedback. I am happy you have enjoyed “She's HOT.” If you would like to nominate any outstanding women in the Middle Tennessee area for future coverage, feel free to drop me a line. Photo credit (at top): Jennifer Ramos