Brian Anderson, one of the most successful professional skateboarders, has come out publicly as gay in a segment on Vice.
Vice did a really nice job in their 26-minute piece about Anderson, talking with other skaters and colleagues and spending a lot of time digging into the once-secret life of a gay man who happened to be one of the best skateboarders in the world.
One of the people they talked to was fellow pro skater Alex Olson, who said Anderson was his favorite skater. When Olson found out that Anderson was gay...
“It made me like him even more. I was like, amazing, it makes him that much cooler.”
Anderson said he doesn’t recall a single negative reaction to his coming out from anyone in his sport.
That attitude came as a surprise to Anderson, because he heard anti-gay language and gay slurs from skaters. As we know now, athletes’ use of that language and those words generally doesn’t reflect a hatred or distaste for gay people.
One fun note is that Anderson is most definitely NOT “into” skateboarders. He said he knew he was gay as a kid when he was fascinated by men in beards, like Popeye’s Bluto. He still digs the Bluto-type today.
“I think of how I felt when I was younger, totally scared,” Anderson said. “A lot of these kids who don't have hope are really scared to death. To hear what I went through, and that everything got better for me, and I got a lot happier and felt more free and didn't have all this shame buried in my body, you become a happier person. So to convey that message is really important to me.”
Check out the entire Vice segment here: