Pro skateboarding star Brian Anderson has come out as gay in a new interview.
In a new video from VICE Sports, several of his peers spoke about their admiration for Anderson, who rose to fame on the skateboarding scene in the mid-90s.
He said that although he knew he was gay from a really young age, he felt like he couldn’t come out at that time.
“People ask, ‘Why are you doing this now and not earlier?’ It would have been a lot more beneficial,'” he told VICE Sports.
“Because I was pretty freaked out, you know what I mean? I was really scared, and people would have perceived it a lot differently, I think, had I said this 15 years ago.”
But he says he’s now talking about his sexuality to let young LGBTIQ people know they can be themselves.
“I think about how I felt when I was younger, totally scared. A lot of these kids don’t have hope,” he said.
“To hear what I went through and how everything got better for me and how I felt a lot happier and felt more free and didn’t have all this shame buried inside my body. To convey that message was really important to me.”
He said at the peak of his career he used skateboarding as an outlet for the shame he was feeling about his sexuality.
“Hearing ‘faggot’ all the time made me think at a really young age that it was really dangerous to talk about it,” Anderson explained.
“I knew I couldn’t go and meet some dude, I was terrified of somebody seeing me doing that.
“I kind of consider myself a skateboarder first and gay second. I’m a skater, that’s all I know.”
Watch the interview with Brian below: