Pro model skate deck of professional skateboarder Brian Anderson is light gray with "Toy Machine" logo on the top surface of the board. Anderson first gained notoriety in the skateboarding world in 1996 with his appearance in the “Welcome to Hell” video put out by his then sponsor, Toy Machine. Three years later he would win the World Cup of Skateboarding and be named Thrasher magazine’s Skater of the Year. Anderson is one of the best street skaters of his generation with his aggressive yet graceful style, he breezes his six-foot three frame through every possible obstacle with ease. After riding for Toy Machine for a few years, he joined Girl Skateboards in 1999 and skated for them for little over a decade. Wanting to express more of his creativity in fashion and board design, he left Girl in 2013, to begin his own company, 3D Skateboards and in that same year collaborated with his sponsor, Nike SB, to produce a signature shoe. Using sketches drawn by Anderson, Nike designers created a skate shoe with a “runner-like upturned toe” that is designed specifically for flip tricks. Due to creative differences, 3D disbanded in 2016 and Anderson was picked up by Anti Hero Skateboards.
In that same year Anderson became the first, most high-profile and successful professional skater to come out as gay, something he never thought he would do while still skating. Afraid to come out when he was younger, he knew that the skate community was not ready for a gay skater in the mid-1990s. In an interview with Vice, Anderson remembers hearing gay slurs all the time which made him think at a young age that is was ‘really dangerous’ to talk about his sexuality. Thinking it would have a negative effect on his career in the male dominated skate community, Anderson put his rage and frustration into his skating, “I think a part of me was so irritated and angry from holding that in, so it made me more of an animal on my skateboard.”
Historically known for its homophobic views, skate has made great strides in recent years to be more accepting and Anderson’s recognition has made him a symbol for the LGBTQ community, leading him to take an active role in public awareness. The proceeds from sales of his Cave Homo skatezine, a publication that explores Anderson’s journey as an openly gay man, are donated to the LGBTQ suicide prevention non-profit, The Trevor Project.
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