Professional skateboarding legend Brian Anderson opened up about his sexuality for a new Vice Sports documentary.
In the documentary, which was released Tuesday and can be viewed above, the 40-year-old reveals that he first realized he was gay between ages 3 and 4. The trigger, he said, was seeing men’s facial hair.
“There was something that told me, ‘Wow, that’s right. I like that,’” Anderson said in the film, which can be viewed above. Later on, he found himself smitten with the character of Bluto on “Popeye” cartoons. “I just thought Bluto was so perfect. That flannel shirt and that beard ― I was all about Bluto,” he said.
Anderson, who was named Skater of the Year by Thrasher magazine in 1999, recalled feeling “totally scared” when he was entering the macho world of competitive skateboarding as a young adult. “Hearing ‘faggot’ all the time made me think, at a young age, that it was really dangerous to talk about it,” he said.
By coming out in the documentary, now, he hopes to inspire young people who may be struggling to come to terms with their own sexuality. “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,” he said. “So to convey that message is really important to me.”
From the sounds of it, Anderson’s skating comrades seem to be taking the revelation in stride. “It makes him that much cooler,” skateboarder Alex Olson said in the documentary. Echoing those sentiments was Lindsey Byrnes, the former marketing director of High Speed Productions, which publishes Thrasher magazine. “The one thing that they love and respect the most is a really good skateboarder. That trumps everything,” she said in the film.
Other personalities weighed in with praise, too.
Kudos to you for living your truth, Brian!