WWE Superstar and professional wrestler Darren Young surprised the wrestling and sports world by coming out via a TMZ interview at Los Angeles International airport. That was on August 15th. On August 16th, he then appeared on NBC’s Today show, where he spoke to Matt Lauer mentioning that it was just the “right time” for his coming out.
“It was the right place and the right time. By coming out I’m going to make a big difference in a lot of people’s lives” said Young during his NBC interview.
When asked why now, Young said that he had been “suppressing” his feelings for most of his life and felt like being 33 years old was the moment to share his coming out story. [pullquote]Darren Young, 33, is currently part of the Prime Time Players team alongside fellow Superstar Titus O’Neil. Young is the first WWE Superstar to come out as gay.[/pullquote]
“I want to be happy and I’m happy now,” Young added.
The wrestling organization, according to the NBC interview, has been supportive of Young’s coming out. Young mentioned that Jason Collins helped inspire him.
“He gave me some advice on how to handle the whole situation, on how to cope with it,” he said of Collins. “At the end of the day, I want to be able to be a role model. I want to be a role model to people that are afraid to come out. I want to be there I want to be able to speak at different functions and tell my story, because my story goes further than being gay … ”
Young is joined by Collins, who openly marched in the Boston Pride Parade 2013, boxer Orlando Cruz came out last year — the first openly gay boxer.
From GLAAD about the Coming Out
Darren Young, WWE Superstar, spoke out about being gay while waiting for his luggage at LAX. A cameramen from TMZ asked him if he thought a gay wrestler could be successful. His response? “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 WWE spoke out in support of Young’s decision to come out. “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,” the organization said.
Young went on to ask TMZ “Does it matter? Does it matter to you? Does it change what you think about me? I guess if you want to call it coming out; I really don’t know what to say it is but I’m just letting you know. I’m happy with who I am, I’m comfortable with myself, and I’m happy to be living the dream. I’m in L.A. for ‘SummerSlam’ with WWE. You know, to be honest with you, I’m happy with myself. Some people might not like it, some people will like it but I’m here to please myself. I’m here to be happy and it’s very important that I’m happy with myself. I’m hoping to be able to make a difference, you know? It’s very important to me that people understand that someone’s sexual preference shouldn’t really matter. It should be about the person.”
Darren Young, 33, is currently part of the Prime Time Players team alongside fellow Superstar Titus O’Neil. Young is the first WWE Superstar to come out as gay.
“Darren Young’s courageous decision to speak out about being gay gives countless young LGBT people, athletes, and fans of the WWE someone to cheer for and look to,” said GLAAD’s Wilson Cruz. “With a demonstrated commitment to anti-bullying initiatives and LGBT inclusion, the WWE has paved the way for a gay Superstar to be welcomed and supported.”
GLAAD is a proud partner of Be a STAR (Show Tolerance And Respect), an anti-bullying alliance founded by The Creative Coalition and WWE. Be a STAR ensures a positive and equitable social environment for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation through grassroots efforts.
WWE Superstars and Divas also participated in GLAAD’s ‘Be an Ally’ PSA series, speaking out in support of LGBT people in a PSA which aired on USA Network as part of the 2012 WWE ‘Tribute to the Troops’ special. In 2011, WWE began work with GLAAD to help address LGBT issues in its programming. GLAAD has since met with talent and editorial staff to discuss LGBT inclusion and the harms of anti-LGBT language.
The WWE has also participated in Spirit Day, a day when GLAAD organizes millions to wear purple on October 17 in a stand up against bullying and in support of LGBT youth, for the past two years.
[From a GLAAD News Release]