In September 2016, skateboarding legend Brian Anderson publicly came out in a Vice Sports mini documentary. It was monumental, and in the process, Anderson became the first openly gay skateboarder to have a signature shoe, with Nike SB. At the end of 2016, he married his boyfriend, Andrew.
Last week, The New Yorker published a video they produced in 2016 talking to Anderson about coming out and the impact of that.
In the video, Anderson talks about how keeping his secret was lonely and that it was difficult to pretend he was straight. He also liked getting injured to release some of his anger about the derogatory talk he heard about homosexuals from other skaters.
It certainly took an extreme amount of courage to first come out to his family, which Anderson did and tells the story of in this clip. But on top of that, being the public figure he is, he needed to come out to the public.
“It is scary to put myself out there like that,” Anderson says. “Seeing what kids are going through, not knowing where to turn, committing suicide -- that gave me a huge amount of commitment to do it.”
They even talked to Anderson’s husband, who tells how he loves when skaters approach Anderson and fan out. “When people come up and go, ‘Brian Anderson!’ I love that, I smile. I just step off a lot of times and just let him have his moment.”
Anderson has certainly made huge strides for the gay community, as well as for humans in general, with his courage to share his life so openly. And he confirms that it was the right choice: “Thinking about how my life could have turned out and what it did, I’m so thankful that I listened to myself, pursued men and here I am.”
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