These pro wrestler athletes have proved time and time again that they can body slam their opponents and provide countless hours of entertainment for their fans. But what many wrestling fans don't know is that in the last few years, more and more WWE athletes have become very vocal about their sexual orientation.
And with the new competitors in WWE becoming popular thanks to shows like "Total Divas," more and more fans have gotten a glimpse into the personal lives of their favorite wrestlers. And some of the people on this list might just surprise you.
The world of wrestling is about creating a fictional persona for the WWE’s storyline. However, Eddy McQueen wasn’t happy with some wrestlers faking being gay for the sake of ratings. “They don’t know what it’s like. They haven’t had to deal with the bullying. It’s not authentic, and it’s like a slap in the face,” McQueen shared with Vice magazine.
Eddy McQueen, Beauty Specialist
McQueen may be a pro-wrestler in the ring but according to his Instagram profile, he’s also nailing it as an esthetician/lash technician. That’s just one more reason fans love him. The other reason is the way he encourages his fans with inspirational quotes like: “So swallow all your tears my love, and put on your new face; you can never win or lose if you don't run the race.”
Solo Dyne Darling
Solo Dyne Darling is an American pro-wrestler who works mainly as an independent wrestler. She also posted on Instagram: “I am Pansexual. I am Mexican, Puerto Rican & Italian. I am proud. I am a fighter for love. We are unique in all the world.”
Solo Dyne Darling is Also Highly Educated
Some WWE fans might assume that a gal like Solo Dyne Darling is all muscles and no brains. But they’d be so wrong. It turns out that Darling studied music and chemistry back when she was in college, so she totally has something to fall back on if she ever wants to leave the ring.
Cassius the Neon Explosion
London wrestler Cassius the Neon Explosion is a gay wrestler who has no issues displaying the colors of the rainbow on his outfits when he goes on stage. He’s also pretty vocal on social media about what it’s like to be an out and proud LGBTQ wrestler.
Cassius the Neon Explosion, Reality Star
In 2021, Cassius the Neon Explosion appeared on a different stage. In lieu of a wrestling ring, he appeared on the show “Game of Talents,” a series that pits two teams against one another to figure out the hidden talents of certain mystery performers.
Out and proud gay drag queen, Rick Cataldo from Brooklyn, New York, shared very strong opinions about what he felt about straight wrestlers playing gay onstage. “There’s a problem when these straight guys who play gay characters. Those guys are just heteros mocking us gays and making coin.”
Tommy Purr is known for getting into feuds with other wrestlers by talking smack about them. But he did have this to say when it came to straight wrestling characters playing gay. “I don’t necessarily mind or get offended by the gimmicks. I wouldn’t be offended by a gay guy playing a straight character. But what does happen is that gay wrestlers don’t get the opportunity to show audiences that we are athletic and just as tough as the straight wrestlers.”
Devon Monroe, aka Black Sexcellence, has wowed wrestling fans with his acrobatic techniques, body-slamming and loud rainbow colors on stage. And he’s as just as vocal and proud about being a member of the LGBT community on social media as he is in the ring.
Russell Rogue might be a total sweetheart when it comes to promoting equality and peace offstage, but the openly bi wrestler is a force to be reckoned with in the ring. And while fans are totally cool with his sexuality, they’re more focused on how devious he is when he’s on stage.
Dark Sheik is a proud trans woman who describes herself as the “undisputed queen of cosplay.” It’s hard to dispute her claim as she has created the perfect outfits for her characters offstage and her wrestling character onstage.
Dark Sheik, Church of Wrestling
Dark Sheik is working on a project that’s very close to her heart. It’s a church of wrestling and it’s the first one in existence as far as she knows, and she hopes it will allow people to celebrate the love of wrestling above all else.
Still Life With Apricots and Pears
A stage name like Still Life With Apricots and Pears sounds like a mouthful, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg for this interesting wrestler. They are also non-binary, meaning that they prefer to go by the pronouns they or them as opposed to the more commonly used he or she.
Jordan Blade describes herself as an open bisexual on Twitter, but that’s not the only thing that she brings to the world of wrestling. She has earned the nickname Anklebreaker for her ankle lock finisher technique that has helped her win several times.
Trans wrestler Candy Lee took the wrestling world by storm as a two-time women’s champion for New Zealand’s Impact Pro Wrestling. During a powerful interview, she explained: “When it comes to trans issues, I feel like not enough people listen to actual trans people’s experiences.”
Candy Lee, Trans and Proud
“It’s funny because my intention with wrestling was just to learn and have fun and not make my trans identity a big thing,” she explained during an interview with The Spinoff. “Turns out being open about it is one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
Jim Sterling is not part of the WWE, but one could say that he’s an honorary member thanks to his YouTube show “The Jimquisition” where he dresses up as a variety of different wrestling characters. He has also come out as pansexual and queer to his followers, adding one more LGBTQ voice to the world of wrestling.
Out and proud lesbian Kris Wolf wrestled for the World Wonder Ring Stardom in Japan, where she holds the title of former High Speed Champion. She has since retired from professional wrestling but has been voicing her support for the LGBTQ community online.
Kris Wolf, Made in America
Although she was born in America and raised in New Jersey, she considers herself as having been made in Japan. The reason for this is that she relocated to Tokyo after a bad breakup and fell in love with the city and the country. But she has since moved on to live in Oslo, Norway with her partner.
Not only is Anthony Bowens an impressive wrestler, but he's a proud bi man who's heavily involved in the LGBT community. Bowens hopes to inspire folks who are afraid to be open about who they are and show them that they'll be accepted after they choose to come out.
Scottish wrestler Piper Niven, better known for her stage name, Viper, turned some heads when she came out as bi on September, 23, 2019, aka Celebrate Bisexuality Day. A month later, she shared that she had accepted her boyfriend’s marriage proposal.
Matt Cage is known for being part of various wrestling organizations like IWA Mid-South and Dragon Gate USA. But while he initially declared himself as bi, he later clarified what he really was. “For the longest time, I claimed that I was bisexual. However, I have no real intentions of pursuing females at this stage of my life. Sorry, ladies. I’m officially pulling myself off of the market. Don’t hate me too bad.”
Mercedes Martinez has made a name for herself as a WWE female pro-wrestler. But in July 2019, she became even more important when she came out as a lesbian. And she didn’t have to worry about this affecting her career as she has been on everyone’s call list to promote and participate in events in the WWE world.
Not all pro-wrestlers had reservations about coming out. Just ask Jack Sexsmith who put his personal life out there and even used his stage persona to be provocative. And on Twitter, he wrote: “I’m not gay. I’m not straight. I’m not even bi. I’m pansexual! Essentially, I’m the Deadpool of the wrestling world.”
Coming out as a member of the LGBTQ community in pro-wrestling can be a lonely experience. Fortunately, Diamante was dating fellow female wrestler Kiera Hogan, so she not only had a partner who loved her, but also someone who could navigate the choppy waters of a (sometimes) judgmental franchise.
DJ Summers may not be a part of the WWE world yet, but he does work for former WWE legend Kaitlyn’s company, Celestial Bodiez and is considered a member of the wrestling community. This has allowed him to use his good looks and charms to change the way people look at gay wrestlers.
Aside from having been with fellow pro-wrestler Diamante, Kiera Hogan is a powerful voice for the LGBT community in the world of wrestling. In fact, during Pride Month, she shared how tough it was growing up gay. “On this final day of Pride month, I first want to start by saying, look how far we’ve come. Growing up I was bullied and having my life threatened just for being me,” she wrote.
As a member of the All Elite Wrestling organization, Sonny Kiss has risen to the top as an open member of the LGBTQ community. But his competition is too busy trying to avoid his signature move, the Sonny-Side Up, to worry about what he does in the bedroom. But of course, his fans totally love that he’s in a relationship with another wrestler named Killian McMurphy.
American pro-wrestler Shayna Baszler is a former mixed martial artist who has always understood that her employers weren’t always supportive of her coming out. But this didn’t stop her from being true to herself and promoting awareness to help other pro-athletes who are in the closet.
Orlando Jordan is a bisexual wrestler who has gone from professional to independent wrestling in the hopes of being more accepted in the world of wrestling and booking more gigs. Unfortunately, he didn’t do so well, so he decided to opening up two wrestling schools instead.
Lola Starr was one of the first openly trans women in pro-wrestling. She felt it was necessary to come out in order to represent equal rights for a community that’s still struggling to achieve full acceptance.
Personal trainer turned pro-wrestler, Dave Marshall, came out as bi two years after joining the world of wrestling. Two years later, he admitted that he was fully gay. Fortunately, he had the support of the people he loved, including “a very homophobic uncle.” Since then, Marshall has been an advocate of acceptance to reduce depression and anxiety in members of the LGBTQ community.
2017 was a big year for Charlie Morgan. During a Pro Wrestling: Eve event, she came out to millions of fans as gay. She also admitted that she had been very anxious about revealing this part of herself to the world, but the anxiety faded when she received tons of support from her fans.
Long before he became Cassandro, the makeup wearing pro-wrestler was known by the stage name Mister Romano, or the Mexican Sensation. But no one knew he was gay until another wrestler named Baby Sharon encouraged him to come out. Since then, he has represented a form of wrestling known as “exotico,” which has wrestlers dressed in drag fight it out in the ring.
In 2014, Rosa Mendes came out as bi during an episode of the wrestling themed reality show, “Total Divas.” She also clarified that while she has been with women, she was more inclined to be with men. But she does remain a powerful LGBTQ advocate.
Sonya Deville has looks, muscles, and great strength. She also became known as the first WWE wrestler to come out proudly as a lesbian and she incorporates rainbow-themed colors to her outfit when she’s in the ring.
Unlike some of the pro-wrestlers on this list, Jake Atlas was never shy about being openly gay and made sure it reflected in his onstage persona when he’s in the ring. But as opportunities within the WWE world opened up, he wasn’t quite as open to incorporating rainbow elements to his wrestling uniform. But he’s still considered a pioneer in the LGBT community.
Nyla Rose really broke through some tough barriers when she became the first trans woman to openly participate in professional U.S. wrestling. But while she doesn’t voice her orientation in the ring, she is very active to support the community by participating in LGBTQ events.
Mike Parrow has appeared in a number of All Japan Pro Wrestling events, but he had a rough time coming to terms with being gay. “I tried to cure my homosexuality,” he admitted on “Good Morning Britain.” But eventually, he went public about being gay and now incorporates rainbow colors to his wrestling outfit to show he’s out and proud.
Paige is a cast member on “Total Divas,” a reality show that focuses on the lives of female wrestlers. But it was during an episode where LGBTQ wrestler Rosa Mendes kissed her onscreen that led to her coming out. She later admitted to Mendes that she had been with other women.
In 2013, pro-wrestler Darren Young came out of the closet, which was a pretty big deal for the LGBTQ community. Young became an advocate for the community and started a campaign known as Block the Hate, which was designed to put an end to LGBTQ discrimination.
Although some LGBTQ wrestlers have gotten plenty of support from wrestling fans, that wasn’t always the case with Mack Beggs. Although he identified as male, he was born a woman and was forced to compete in Texas’ female state wrestling tournament in 2017. Despite this, Beggs won that year and again in 2018, but that sadly didn’t stop the crowd from booing him.
Retired WCW tag team champion and WWE wrestler Chris Kanyon was loved by fans for several generations. His signature look was his long hair, which was pretty risky given that his competitor could have easily yanked his hair during a match. But he proved to be fearless right until the end.
Chris Kanyon's Legacy
Kanyon was part of the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling from 1994 to 2004. And after years of being in the closet, he finally came out. Unfortunately, he only had a few short years to enjoy his freedom before his untimely passing in 2010.
Dame is the Atomic Championship Wrestling champ who broke bisexual stereotypes by proving himself worthy in the ring and defending his title. He has also used his voice to show support for the LGBTQ community, specifically trans people.
Dani Jordyn has earned a reputation for being “The Real Mean Girl,” in the world of professional wrestling. She even took a burn book with her while participating in various promotions across the U.S. But in 2020, she came out as a bi and a proud member of the LGBTQ community.
Although he’s still considered a rookie in comparison to other pro-wrestlers, Dillon McQueen has proven himself in the ring. One of his proudest moments in his career so far has been becoming the first openly gay wrestler to be the New South Wrestling Tag Team champ.
Don’t Die Miles
Pro-wrestler Don’t Die Miles has won fans over with his incredible high-flying style and risky moves onstage that have made him the up-and-coming star that he is today. He also came out as pansexual and has thanked his fans for their love and support.
Pat Patterson worked as a producer, a commentator, a referee and a pro-wrestler in the WWE. But while it was widely known that he was a member of the LGBTQ community since the 1970s, it wasn’t acknowledged until the “WWE Legends’ House” season finale in 2014.
Pat Patterson's Legacy
In 2019, the Canadian-born wrestler, who was 78 at the time, became the oldest participant to win a title in the WWE 24/7 Championship, despite the fact that he retired in 1985. Sadly, he suffered a blood clot that led to liver failure in 2020 and he is no longer with us.