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12 Wrestlers Who Have Come Out Of The Closet

On June 26th, 2015, history was made as same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide in the United States. It has become a symbol of victory for the LGBT community and its advocates. With the prevalence of homosexual and transgender people appearing in pop culture these days, it would appear that tolerance and acceptance of each other’s differences is on the rise in this country. That really feels like a win for everyone. However, in the world of sports that is not always the case.

Heteronormativity, or the notion that heteroexuality is “normal” and preferred, has always been the dominant standard for most of sports culture. Even small children in school sports are often subjected to this potentially hurtful way of thinking. Having been taught heteronormativity throughout childhood, this has lead to some very homophobic attitudes among professional athletes. It has also resulted in a serious lack of the LGBT community being represented among all major professional sports leagues in the United States.

The exception to this seems to be the world of professional wrestling, where homosexuals and bisexuals have been represented for decades. Rich homosexual, or at least sexually ambiguous, characters have been developed and enjoyed by fans since the 1950s. One of the first vibrant flamboyant characters who debuted at that time was Gorgeous George. Though he was not actually homosexual, not was it admitted that his character was gay, he opened the door of acceptance for future similar gimmicks. There have also been several managers and wrestlers over the years that have self-identified as gay. Though Darren Young made news when he came out openly in 2013, he is far from being the first openly gay wrestler. In this article, we present 12 wrestlers throughout history who have come out of the closet.

12 Sandy Parker 

via slam.canoe.com

11 Jim Barnett 

via mikemooneyham.com

10 Cassandro 

via pinterest.com

9 Ernie Roth 

via therichest.com

8 Tylene Buck 

via prowrestling.wikia.com

7 Terry Garvin 

via onlineworldofwrestling.com

6 Chris Kanyon 

via youtube.com

5 Matt Cage 

via lgbtqnation.com

4 Orlando Jordan 

via bleacherreport.com

3 Rosa Mendes 

via sportskeeda.com

2 Pat Patterson 

via people.com

1 Darren Young 

While Darren Young was not the first wrestler to come out as gay, he has certainly gained the most publicity for it. Darren Young made his television debut on the first season of WWE’s NXT in 2010 and is currently wrestling with Titus O'Neill in the Prime Time Players. The pair have achieved some success on the WWE roster, as they've won the WWE Tag Team Championships, though they didn't hold them for very long. While many of the other stars on this list came out after their careers had ended, Darren Young was the first wrestler to come out while presently signed to a contract with a major promotion and he has received a ton of support from many other athletes for doing so.

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12 Wrestlers Who Have Come Out Of The Closet