Apartamento - Jeffrey Cheung
There’s really nothing else quite like Unity, a platform encompassing print, publishing, music, and skateboarding, all centring queer and trans people.
Jeff Cheung would post Riso-printed flyers around Oakland calling for friends and strangers to join him for weekly Unity skate parties. The Rockridge carpark is dotted by the ancient trees that gave Oakland its name; for a few tender hours at dusk, the tarmac underpass becomes a skatepark and a refuge. What makes these gatherings different from other skate gatherings is that they are pop-up safe spaces for people (and skaters) who have typically been excluded from the narrative: queer people, trans people, and people of colour (QTPOC). ‘All experience levels and identities welcome’, the posters would say, ‘If ya had fun… ya won!’ It was no accident that Unity was founded at the end of the 2016 election cycle, when the message meant more to certain communities than ever. And when Jeff travels, so do the queer skate days: Barcelona, Berlin, Denver—anywhere that Jeff finds himself, he creates space for marginalised folks to feel at home and unite for a minute.
I met Jeff and his boyfriend Gabriel at the Los Angeles Art Book Fair. Their Unity stall was a stack of skate decks, posters, and zines painted with bums and boobs and willies and wiry-haired pits and balloon-like figures bouncing across surfaces. Jeff’s constellation of naked figures is diverse and free and does little to shy away from sexuality. All welcome. Jeff and Gabriel were planning a skate meet for fair attendees—community-building wherever they go. At some point you will probably step into their community, too.
Text by Alex Tieghi-Walker, read the full story here
Photographed for Apartamento in Oakland, CA