A short while ago, for a limited amount of time, independent wrestler Effy was selling a Wrestling is Gay shirt in order to collect for charity. I remember looking at the shirt and smiling. One, because Effy seems like a good person wanting to do good things. That should always make you happy and inspire you also do good things. Two, because the shirt is correct. Wrestling s absolutely and wonderfully gay, and it’s going to become a whole lot gayer. Before you throw out your question, yes that’s an incredibly great thing!
Now, when I express “wrestling is gay” I’m including the full spectrum of the LGBTQIA+ community. I feel like I have awoken to such a wonderful rainbow in pro wrestling within the past year. The truth is, last year felt like a revelation to me. 2020 was my first full year out as Bisexual and Transgender, and it seemed like amazing timing (even with a pandemic) as I felt my sight and hearing got clever and throughout 2020 when it came to pro wrestling. I knew there was LGBTQIA+ in wrestling, there always has been, but it’s getting louder, more active, more focused. It has no desire to be put in a corner or used as a gimmick from heterosexual performers for crowd heat/applause. We got amazing wonderful wrestlers, promoters, journalists, commentators, managers, etc, etc. You name the position, someone in the community is filling that role and excelling and succeeding at it.
Promoters have stepped up and put amazing shows such as Butch vs. Gore, Paris Is Bumping, and one of my favorite shows of last year Effy’s Big Gay Brunch that have found success, praise, and an audience who not only dug their heels in (and looked fabulous in them as we did) but then started marching toward the demand more. We got performers embracing and being more expressive about who they are and what they are about. There is still a closet, but there’s less room now as more appear to be able to come out. I don’t have to seek out LGBTQIA+ performers, they are on my shows, they are on my Twitter feed, I correspond with them, and they aren’t gimmicks by heterosexual wrestlers. They are living, breathing, performing, wonderful members of the community. Wrestling is fucking gay, and I’m all about that shit.
*FIGHT FOREVER UPDATE*
FF Block Announcement:
EFFY's BIG GAY BLOCK
— GameChangerWrestling (@GCWrestling_) January 19, 2021
There is a lot of work to do though. A lot of work still needing to be completed. The work is never-ending, and the struggle is very real. The stereotypes can still be found, some wrestlers still litter their promos with homophobic insults and not just for heat. Sometimes it’s faces doing it to chuckles and applause from the crowd. You can still find hetero performers appropriating elements (without acknowledgment) of gay culture and using gay stereotypes in their gimmicks and performance for a reaction and response. Ignorance abounds, and furthermore, there are people who refuse to do the heavy lifting themselves to educate themselves. Alleged allies making justifications and excuses for the behaviors and attitudes of others. Many putting the burden of education on the LGBTQIA+ community and them alone. The reality is, we fucking get tired of doing so a lot of the time. Justifying your right to existence and belonging is an endeavor that once you hit a wall so many times you just feel depleted. I should know, I’ve been doing it with my own parents and their circle before I took that first HRT pill. Nothing has made me cry harder. To be personal, knowing I’m not alone, and knowing there’s a growing number of us gives me strength and confidence that sometimes I feel like I have spent my entire life lacking.
Can’t stop, won’t stop.
I’m a proud member of the Pro Wrestling LGBTQIA+ community in my capacity as a writer. I admit I don’t write about the subject often, and maybe that’s a failing. Something I can work and improve upon. Use my voice to amplify other voices to an even louder volume. Never-the-less I am unapologetically Bi and Trans and I am thankful for the support and backing I get from various other people within the business and on the outside looking in reporting on the business I have gotten. Every bit of it means something to me and keeps my head up high, especially on days I just feel like lowering it because even I start to question my existence at the onslaught I get from people who then turn around and go “we care and love you though”. If I have to hear one more “Are you sure it’s not just in your head” from someone who allegedly cares I’m going to write a strongly worded article about it to cope.
While a pandemic still looms, 2021 feels like it could be filled with magic. I don’t know what’s in store, but I look forward to watching people like Still Life with Apricots And Pears continue to grow into the amazing and wonderful performer/person they are. I look forward to seeing more out of performers such as Parrow who I’ve only gotten to watch a little and am intrigued by. I want to see the likes of Nyla Rose continue to excel, Effy continuing to be an amazing person. The list goes on and on. I hope to see more shows like the upcoming Cassandro Cup viewing which I have no doubt is going to be a great time. If I keep naming this article is going to just be one long rambling list and I’m glad to be able to express that. We aren’t having a sprinkle or a leak of representation, we are experiencing waves. So much to continue taking in, so much more to still discover. I look forward to more educating, more awareness, MORE REPRESENTATION, and I am giddy about the possibilities of it all.
Is Wrestling Gay? You goddamn right it is, and it’s just going to get a whole lot gayer. So strap the fuck in guys, gals, and non-binary pals, because we are pro wrestling, we write, we report, we promote, we manage, we commentate, we wrestle, and it is fucking wonderful.