Why porn star Sophie Anderson was an LGBT+ icon and an example to us all

Why porn star Sophie Anderson was an LGBT+ icon and an example to us all
Porn star Sophie Anderson reportedly dies days after fellow porn star husband
New York Post / VideoElephant

Sophie Anderson wasn’t your typical role model.

A porn star with 32JJ boobs who claimed to have slept with more than 20,000 people, she wasn't the kind of person you might invite to speak at a school assembly.

And yet the mother-of-four, who died on the weekend aged just 36, had much to teach us all.

She experienced more trauma in her short life than most would be able to bear, and yet, rather than be plagued by bitterness, the message she constantly promoted was kindness and acceptance of others.

Speaking to James English for his podcast ‘Anything Goes’ last year, she told the harrowing story of her childhood.

Growing up in a broken home to a largely absent dad and a “mentally abusive” mother who flitted in and out of her life, she lost her virginity at the age of 10 and got into drugs soon after.

She said she then began seeing older men and women after school, most of whom she met online but some she encountered in car parks and other public places.

“The men I used to go and see at [the age of] 10 were older,” she told English. “I would particularly go to this pub in Bradford-on-Avon knowing that I could get a drink.

“I’d go and suck the guys off in a car so they’d go and buy me booze and fags and give me weed.”

Full Sophie Anderson Podcast now live - Anything goes with James Englishyoutube.com

Describing herself as an “overweight” kid who was constantly “fat shamed”, she developed such severe anorexia by the age of 14 that she “even thought having a drop of water would put on weight”.

Then she fell for a girl at school and her peers found out. Having always struggled to establish friendships she was, at this point, even more ostracised than before. As a result, her eating disorder, drug habit and budding sex addiction grew increasingly intense.

But she was determined to better her lot and work hard, particularly once she discovered musical theatre.

She told English that she loved drama and had a “beautiful singing voice” and “really wanted to accomplish something for myself.”

So after achieving As in music and dance at GCSE and an A* in drama, she was accepted into a performing arts school.

However, she said she then met an older man who “took [her] away from everything”, introducing her to crack cocaine and getting her pregnant at 17.

After discovering she was having a boy, she said she ditched drugs, thinking at the time: “I didn't want him to turn out like me because I was very lost.

“And [...] I was like, right, I’m going to do everything in my power now to provide everything, even if it means that for the rest of my life I don't ever do what I want do.

“I was gonna do everything in my power to protect him.”

Sophie had to give up her dream to pursue a career in musical theatre(@sophieasuccess/Instagram)

She went on to work as an escort and then in porn, continuing to battle substance abuse and eating disorders over the years, and finding herself in further toxic relationships.

And yet, despite suffering immense cruelty, she felt sympathy and forgiveness for those who wronged her, including her own mother who allegedly subjected her to terrible abuse.

When her mum died of cancer, Sophie felt guilty that she didn’t see her on her deathbed, acknowledging that she herself had suffered in her youth – going in and out of foster homes and suffering trauma of her own.

Pressed by her interviewer on how she could be so understanding, she replied: “I connect with so many people because, being honest with you, I have no judgment of anyone.”

When English condemned the people who had taken advantage of her throughout her life, she refused to be labelled a victim but grew emotional when thinking of what others endure.

“I know there's [sic] so many people out there who suffer and that that's what kills me,” she said.

“Not my own [abuse], not my own at all. And the amount of people like in the LGBT community, they get, and this, it makes me really sad.”

She went on: “I want to make sure that I protect people and, and it's not even my story that's making me upset is literally because if I knew that anyone had to go through any kind of abuse [...], that is what kills, you know?”

Sophie eventually found love with fellow porn actor Oliver Spedding (pictured) whose death was reported just two weeks before hers(@sophieasuccess/Instagram)

Admitting that she struggled daily with her own image of herself, she also stressed that “people want to put you down because it makes them feel secure.”

“Whether it was a relationship, whether it's my mum, who, whoever it was [...] people want to put you down and restrict you because they're [insecure] in themselves.

“And I actually feel sorry for those people because I would never do that,” she added. “I'd never shame someone or anything like that, I would never put people down.”

After news of Sophie’s death emerged, it became clear that her message struck a chord with many, particularly members of what she called her “LGBTQIA family”.

Here’s just a snippet of some of the tributes that poured out to her on X/Twitter:

And whilst Sophie’s life was not one that should be willingly emulated – hers was a story of tragedy and trauma – her attitude to others was.

After all, if she can forgive her wrongdoers and accept people for their flaws, shouldn’t we all be able to?

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