Skateboarder Brian Anderson Explains His Challenging Road To Coming Out

"I am so thankful I listened to myself."

Skateboarding icon Brian Anderson surprised many fans last year when he opened up about his sexuality for the first time in a Vice Sports documentary.

But as Anderson recalled his coming out experience for a New Yorker profile this week, he explained why he’s prepared to face lingering challenges in the world of professional skateboarding as an openly gay man. 

“I’m curious about what I’m in store for in other places that aren’t major cities that are accepting. I know there’s going to be some things [at] a random skate park, or whatever,” Anderson says in a video accompanying the June 23 article, which can be viewed above. 

The road to personal acceptance, he recalls, was not an easy one. “There were all these things around me in society that were telling me, ‘Do not tell anybody this stuff.’ I was really lonely,” he says. “It was hard to pretend. It felt good to get hurt, rough myself up, bleed. I think I was so angry a lot of times, hearing these things... I would clench my fists, and just be like, ’I’m taking this out on my board.” 

Witnessing young LGBTQ people who are struggling to come to terms with their sexuality gave Anderson “a huge amount of commitment” to coming out. “Thinking about how my life turned out and what it did, I am so thankful I listened to myself,” he notes. 

The clip also features a brief interview with Anderson’s husband, Andrew. The couple wed on Dec. 28, 2016, three months after Anderson came out publicly. 

“I didn’t know who he was when I first met him, because I’m not a skater,” Andrew explains. “When people recognize him... I smile [and] let him have his moment.” 

Check out the full New Yorker profile of Anderson here

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