WWE Wrestler Comes Out, Reflects Changing ‘Attitude’ Of Wrestling Promotions
Professional wrestling has a new openly gay competing superstar.
Darren Young, who’s real name is Frederick Douglas Rosser, is a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) wrestler who’s mostly been in developmental wrestling associations owned by WWE in the last few years. It was only recently in 2010, where Young started competing under the big lights for WWE’s nationally televised Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown.
Young came out to a TMZ camera man at LAX airport on Wednesday night this week. When Young was asked if he thought a gay man could make it in the WWE, Young said, “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.” The announcement was completely candid, with the video being shot as Young was waiting for his bags after arriving in Los Angeles for a Pay-Per-View promotion, Summer Slam, which is happening this Sunday night.
Support has been pouring in for Young, with WWE’s poster boy, John Cena, saying he completely backs Young. “I know Darren personally. Darren’s a great guy,” said Cena, “That’s a very bold move for him. And congratulations for him for actually finally doing it.”
The WWE has also made a statement earlier today on their website saying, “WWE is proud of Darren Young for being open about his sexuality, and we will continue to support him as a WWE Superstar.”
The amount of support Young has received from his employers and fellow wrestlers has been somewhat of a surprise to many.
Most professional wrestling associations have widely been regarded as misogynistic and homophobic, with women and homosexuality being characterized. Former Wrestlers like Gorgeous George, Golddust, Stephanie McMahon, and numerous others having been ridiculed for their gender and (clearly perceived) sexuality.
Other professional wrestlers have come out in the past, but Young is the only one to do so while employed by WWE. According to RedAlertLive.com, former wrestlers Chris Kanyon and Orlando Jordan both were out while competing. Kanyon made claims that he was fired by WWE for being out, while Jordan wrestled for WWE’s primary competitor, Total Non-Stop Action (TNA), where his wrestling persona was that of a bisexual, which reflected on Jordan’s actual sexuality. Pat Patterson, a life-long legend in professional wrestling culture also came out after a lengthy career with the WWE and other promotions.
In 2001, WWE athletes, Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo were involved in a storyline where both wrestlers were portrayed to be in a homosexual relationship. The storyline ran for nearly a year, with a fake wedding ceremony in the ring having taken place at one point. According to the Wikipedia page on the duo’s tag team tenure, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) claims they had been consulted by WWE for the storyline, but had been largely misled.
While professional wrestling has had a controversial history of being a low brow form of entertainment, the WWE promotion has seen a campaign to re-image itself and come across as a more wholesome family brand. The extreme violence, foul language, and adult subject matter that was associated with the WWE’s ‘Attitude’ era of the late 90’s has been done away with for some time. The WWE’s support of Young reflects this change of the brand’s philosophy.
Young will not be featured in this weekend’s pay-per-view event, but the WWE’s statement says he is also in LA for a separate WWE event, Be A STAR, an anti-bullying rally that’s taking place this weekend as well.
It’s unknown if Young’s sexuality will be portrayed in any future story lines for his character.
Last Thursday night on the series finale for WWE’s original television series for its network, Legends’ House, Pat Patterson, a former wrestler and long-time right hand man of Vince McMahon, came out publically to the other seven wrestling personalities involved in a video which you can watch below: At first glance, this seems like a [...]June 16, 2014
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