Pro Wrestler Darren Young Becomes WWE's First Openly Gay Superstar
I've always thought professional wrestling was kinda gay, but now wrestling fans can have a representation of homosexuality that isn't a mockery, as WWE superstar Darren Young came out as professional wrestling's first openly gay athlete.
The news came as much less of an announcement than a candid statement, as Young was caught by TMZ cameras at LAX, and was asked about homosexuality by the (seemingly unwitting) TMZ reporter:
Darren was at LAX Wednesday when we asked whether a gay wrestler could succeed in WWE, and Darren laughed, saying, "Absolutely. Look at me. I'm a WWE superstar and to be honest with you, I'll tell you right now, I'm gay. And I'm happy. I'm very happy."
For the record, Darren is now the first openly gay wrestler ever at WWE ... and the first headlining wrestler ever to come out while still signed to a major promotion. (via TMZ)
When pressed about possible consequences for coming out, Young responded to the reporter:
"Does it matter to you? Does it change what you think of me?" "Not at all. In fact I commend you that you'd share something so beautiful and personal with me."
There have been professional wrestlers who have come out after retirement, and there's no shortage of pro-wrestling characters built on the polarity of masculine and feminine, but Young's character is rude, cocky, and hints at little of the traditionally flamboyant depictions we've seen from other WWE characters. Hopefully, Young (whose real name is Fred Rosser) won't feel any pressure from his company to change with his announcement.
If the WWE's response this morning is any indication that won't be a concern:
On TMZ this morning, WWE Superstar Darren Young revealed to the WWE Universe that he is gay. WWE is proud of Darren Young for being open about his sexuality, and we will continue to support him as a WWE Superstar. Today, in fact, Darren will be participating in one of our Be A STAR anti-bullying rallies in Los Angeles to teach children how to create positive environments for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation.
I certainly hope Young's honesty will continue to pave the way for all professional athletes to simply find happiness in who they are, without fear of repercussion for being open about their sexuality.
Upon being told that Young had come out, fellow WWE superstar John Cena seemed to embody that spirit: