Pro skater Brian Anderson is gay and why it matters
"Hearing faggot all the time, made me think at a young age, that it was really dangerous to talk about it." - Brian Anderson
Last week VICE Sports released a video titled; 'Brian Anderson on Being a Gay Professional Skateboarder', in the moments and days that followed my Instagram feed was awash of people posting screenshots and praising BA for coming out. I'll be honest I had mixed feelings; not about Brian Anderson being gay, but more the reaction from the wider community of skateboarding.
For a start, I thought we (skateboarding) already knew he was gay, if you watched Pretty Sweet from 2012; Mike Carroll's GAY! t-shirt in BA's section was at least a statement of sorts or at least a hint if you didn't already know. Shit VICE originally wrote about it in 2009! Whether people did or didn't know, my main issue was the fact that its 2016, is someone sexual preference really an issue? It's 2016, do we really care?
When you look at statistics like the 5,597 hate crimes against gays and lesbians in 2014-15, a rise of 22 % on the previous year recorded by the police, even I can see my view is naive. I choose to surround myself with like minded people who aren't prejudice, but cannot be blind to the fact that skateboarding has been full of homophobia:
"There's a lot of homophobia in skateboarding, there's a lot of homophobia in everything. It's not just skateboarding, you know, it's the world." - Mike Carroll
I hope that Brian Anderson coming out, and the wider skate communities wholly positive reaction goes some way to help others feel confident to 'come out', and show others that the culture as a whole has moved on. There isn't room for homophobia in skateboarding, as Jake Phelps says in the video it's about skateboarding, "who gives a fuck if you're gay!"
Set aside some time today and enjoy watching a show of unity and support from skateboarding, for the love of Brian Anderson, for change.
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