Triangles Everywhere provides a trusted space for LGBTQI Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners to connect and be themselves. Kimberly Serratos, an admin and founding members of Triangles Everywhere , sat down to chat about the group and her experience with them thus far.
In the beginning
Triangles Everywhere got its start on July 18, 2017; however, neither Kimberly, nor the other early members really knew just how special the group would be…until their first meetup in Denver in May of 2018.
“It was life changing,” Kimberly said. described their adventures rolling everyday at their own gym, whitewater rafting, and visiting hot springs together. “We knew we had to do it again and that it would become a thing that would be important to us.”
Since then, Triangles Everywhere has hosted five major meetups across the US, plus dozens of local meetups. Additionally, group membership has grown internationally to 641 members just in the Facebook group alone.
What makes Triangles Everywhere unique
“It’s more than just talking about technique,” Kimberly explained about the Facebook group. “And it’s more than just talking about our queer experience. It’s become a really amazing community where we share stuff that’s really personal that I can’t really talk to with my teammates because they don’t have the same experiences.”
Kimberly’s experience has been much more positive. “I have been so lucky with gyms. Everywhere I’ve trained has been phenomenal and I feel like I can be my true authentic self on the mats – and yet. There’s a difference when we’re all at a [Triangles Everywhere] meetup and that space is for us. There’s something about that that’s a little bit more authentic, a little piece of you that you didn’t even realize you were scared or allowed to show. And now I feel like everytime I come back [from a Triangles Everywhere meetup], I feel invigorated and even more courageous. And I feel like I can be truer to myself in general, in my daily life, at my home gym.”
A community as strong as Triangles Everywhere doesn’t sprout from the ground fully formed. “There’s a huge range of opinion and belief,” Kimberly said as she described the group. “We have two major connections, but they’re both pretty niche and doesn’t mean we’ll get along.” However, as an admin, Kimberly mentioned that she doesn’t have to mediate issues often. “People feel comfortable posting in group which is pretty amazing. It’s an international group with over 600 members and people still feel comfortable.”
A major contributor to that sense of trust is the emphasis on privacy. “Privacy is paramount and we’re very, very serious about that,” Kimberly explained. Because some members are not out, Triangles Everywhere has to be exclusive in order to be inclusive.
Creating that private space has unlocked a vast and beautiful depth of care and creativity among the members. Kimberly likened it to BJJ, but on a group level: “You know you have a map – if I can’t do this pass, I can move here. So if someone’s having a really tough time, we can find alternate ways to help them together.”
“There’s been a lot of work and trial and error,” Kimberly said as she reflected on the group’s growth in the last couple of years. “It’s difficult to figure out how to make everyone comfortable – and sometimes you can’t. But I think what we’ve ended up with has been so worth it.”
But just like in BJJ, the work never ends. “We’ve learned that from BJJ: Your game can’t be stagnant. There’s a lot of discussions happening and a lot of progress and development is constantly occurring. As a group, we always have to evolve.”
If you are a member of the LGBTQI+ community and would like to join the TE private Facebook group, visit the public page to send a message to the admins! If you are an ally and would like to show support, feel free to like the public page!
About the author: Jess is a light feather purple belt based in Brooklyn, NY. More thoughts on BJJ, including her Training Without A Gym technique series, can be found on her blog Rolling With the Big Boys.