For Anderson, Big Bro’s is more than a place where people can make aesthetic changes to express their true selves; it’s a visible representation of trans people in a wider community, and a safe space where too few exist.
He still wishes he’d had more role models when he was coming out.
“Coming out felt like a really tragic thing — at the time the only trans guy I knew about was Brandon Teena from Boys Don’t Cry. I 100 percent thought that was what I was signing myself up for. Not a question in my mind, I put a whistle on my keys . . . It wasn’t a question of if I would get raped or murdered, it was when,” he says.
“It took my own life experience of surviving that made it fine,” he says, “but the idea of having a space where I could see other trans people in the flesh — it would’ve been so beneficial.”