PARTICIPATION REFLECTS INVESTMENT
Alex Showerman's Push For Inclusivity
Creating inclusivity in the snowsports space is a real and current challenge. We at Weston were so happy to see Alex Showerman find her herself, and yet it was equally challenging to watch first hand as doors shut ever so slightly at the same time. There’s most certainly work to be done in the industry and not just for LGBTQ+. Hopefully if we keep the foot on the gas of elevating underrepresented voices, in authentic ways, we can keep bringing powder to the people. Check out this exclusive interview with Alex herself for The Snowboarder's Journal.
During her high school years in Vermont, snowboarding became a way of life for Alex Showerman. Aside from holding various jobs in politics following college, Alex began freelancing articles for TransWorld SNOWboarding, Splitboard.com, and other publications before landing her first gig in the industry with Protect Our Winters in 2015. She connected with Weston Backcountry and led public relations efforts for the brand. But despite her success in the sport she loved, Alex was miserable. She felt trapped, like she was living a lie—presenting as male. These days Alex is much happier, because she’s finally living proudly as the queer trans woman she knew herself to be.
The 32-year-old began finding the strength to come out after persevering through a broken neck in 2019. In 2020, Alex transitioned. She’s since become a prominent advocate for inclusivity in action sports, although in recent months, she’s grown increasingly distant from snowboarding. While the act of sliding sideways will always hold a dear spot in Alex’s heart, she says the snowboarding community has a long way to go regarding its support for trans riders. We recently sat down with Alex to hear her story, as well as what she thinks the community can do to further its push for inclusivity on the mountain and beyond.
Blake Hansen for The Snowboarder’s Journal: Let’s start with your life-changing events in 2019.
Alex Showerman: There was a monster under the bed that I’d been avoiding for years. It started to give me so much anxiety that I started taking unrealistic risks while snowboarding and biking. Eventually, I literally smashed my issues head on [into a tree mountain biking] and broke my neck. I was stuck in a hospital bed. I couldn’t move or distract myself anymore.
What a visceral experience. What were you facing?
Well, I had already accepted that I was transgender years back but had been avoiding it. Something we both know all too well.
Avoiding acceptance of who you really are by stuffing it away and ruining your life… because you’re scared of doing something about it and it ruining your life?
Yeah, we know a thing or two about that.
So, I was forced to sit with myself, and it changed my life. It started with the choice to take care of my injury and turned into taking care of myself overall. I started seeing my therapist again. I eventually started hormones and subsequently, my transition. A little after that it also started to hit me that, even though I’d been making healthy moves for myself and feeling good, I was going to have to deal with coming out. Then the pandemic hit. I lost my job a little bit after that and having to face all those things collectively took me to a place where I would say that I lost the will to live. Unfortunately, alcohol became the thing that I started to rely on, and I would just sit there in my room, in the dark, staring at the ceiling drunk for hours. I spent multiple nights like this just contemplating suicide. Luckily, I never did it, and I think breaking my neck was what gave me the tools to push through that time and come out the other side.
Isn’t it weird how talking about it takes you back there? Remembering what that’s like never fully goes away.
Yeah, I guess talking about it is reminding me of how close I actually was.
At what point did things start to turn around for you?