Jamie Harsip Content Editor
It takes a lot of guts to come out of the closet when you’re in the public eye. It takes even more guts to do it when you’re an athlete (just ask Jason Collins or Megan Rapinoe). But it probably takes the most guts to come out when you’re an athlete in one of the most testosterone-fueled sports in the world: professional wrestling.
Last night, WWE star Darren Young was approached by reporters from TMZ and asked whether or not he thinks a gay wrestler could ever succeed in the WWE. His response? A laugh, with the following statement:
“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. Very happy.”
With that casual statement, Young made LGBT history. He is the first pro wrestler to come out of the closet to the public.
In a notoriously heteronormalized sport where testosterone-driven manliness is next to godliness, this is groundbreaking.
John Cena, a legendary pro wrestler, said this of Young’s coming out: ”Good for him. That’s fantastic … I know Darren personally. Darren’s a great guy. That’s a very bold move for him. And congratulations for him for actually finally doing it.” Cena’s older brother is gay as well, so it’s no surprise to hear him voice his support.
What may be somewhat surprising is that the WWE itself has also released a statement of unconditional support for Darren Young:
"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.”
Thank you, Darren Young, and congratulations on breaking the WWE mold!