Openly gay professional skateboarder Brian Anderson and Nike are releasing a joint shoe and clothing line next week designed by Anderson himself. The design of the skateboarding line was derived from a hockey jersey, which Anderson said is not a coincidence.
In an interview with Complex, Anderson talked about the line and the importance to him of breathing his authenticity into the design.
I remember when I was so into Nirvana before it was cool and I was already wearing flannels ‘cause I loved them. Then Nirvana got really big, and all these kids from my high school were dressing in plaid shirts and ripped jeans, and I’m like, “What? Man, you hated on me last year for my style.” ... So authenticity is important because it affects people who are into fashion. Look what happened to me in high school. I changed my style ‘cause people just ruined it for me.
Anderson also talked to Complex about the individual benefits of coming out.
I think the importance is for people to understand each other’s struggle. If you’re able to be out with your teammates, you might be a little less high-strung or uncomfortable because you’re not holding that in. I think it’s important if people can understand where you’re at in your head. You can be a better athlete and a better teammate.
Nike is no stranger to embracing LGBT athletes, working with people like Jason Collins, Brittney Griner and Gus Kenworthy. They also have their BeTrue line, released every June for Pride month, that celebrates the entire LGBT community. The work of BeTrue won a Maxim award at the company last year.