Thursday, 15 August 2013 08:43
In what should be a non-story, WWE wrestler Darren Young did an interview with TMZ.com stating he was gay, which has led to a lot of media and social media response from major WWE figures like Stephanie McMahon, John Cena and Jim Ross.
The interview saw Young interviewed at LAX by TMZ cameras when admitting being pay and being asked if a gay wrestler could succeed in WWE he 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. I'm very happy."
It was touted by TMZ that Young was the first openly gay wrestler ever in WWE and the first headlining wrestler to come out while signed to a major promotion. Obviously the headlining part is a stretch.
WWE has been pro gay rights as an organization for years and such a thing would have clearly been a non-issue internally for decades considering Pat Patterson was No. 2 in power of creative for years with the company.
It was no secret that Orlando Jordan was bisexual when he was with WWE, but at the time, the company never publicized that fact. But he not only came out but it was part of his gimmick when he worked for TNA. Over the years, there have been numerous gay wrestlers, including Pat Patterson, as well as gay executives in the business, from Jim Barnett, a legendary promoter, to Jane Geddes of the WWE Talent Relations department today.
Chris Klucsaritis (Kanyon) tried to use being gay as a calling card late in his career, although kept it secret during his WCW and WWF days. He did attempt to get into WWE and TNA with the portrayal of being the world's first openly gay wrestler, which again, would be far from the truth, but neither company was interested in him at the time.
Over history, tons of wrestlers have played gay characters, some of whom were gay, others of whom were straight. In Mexico, Exoticos, overplaying effeminate characters were often played by openly gay performers.
But this is the first time there has been an attempt to make it a mainstream story.
It would be unfair to say none of this was ever an issue in wrestling, because every place was different, every promoter was different and every situation was different. But much of it was common knowledge and was really never much of an issue as in the old days of wrestling, if you could draw money, that trumped everything else.
Essentially, this is being covered in some places as a breakthrough but it's really a non-issue.