WWE’s Darren Young Comes Out :: ’I’m Happy. Very Happy’
World Wrestling Entertainment star Darren Young surprised a TMZ cameraman when the wrestler suddenly told him he’s gay.
The TMZ cameraman spoke to Young at Los Angeles International Airport and asked the buff athlete if an openly gay wrestler could have a successful career in the WWE. The question caused Young to chuckle.
"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," the wrestler said.
The cameraman said he was "kind of flabbergasted" and stumbled over his words until he finally said, "I commend your bravery."
"I don’t think it matters. Does it matter? Does it matter to you," Young asked the cameraman.
"Not an iota man," he said, later adding, "I commend you even more that you would share something so beautiful and personal with me."
The cameraman asked if this was Young’s official coming out. Young responded he "didn’t know what to say it is" but that he’s happy and comfortable with himself and happy to "be living the dream."
"How do you feel you will be received after this news? It’s got to be a bit nerve-racking," the cameraman asked Young.
"To be honest with you, I’m happy with myself, and some people may not like and some people will like it," Young said. "But I’m here to please myself, I’m here to be happy. It’s very important I’m happy with myself."
The TMZ cameraman then asked if Young thinks he will "pave the way" for other wrestlers to come out in the WWE.
"I’m hoping to be able to make a difference," the athlete said. "It’s very important to me that people understand that someone’s sexual preference shouldn’t really matter. It should be about the person."
When asked if he thinks his peers will look at him differently or if he has any concerns or fears for coming out, since wrestling is a sport that "is very testosterone driven and macho" and because of the amount of physical contact, Young said, "All sports are physical. We’re all adults. And to be honest with you, when I come to work, I come to work. This is business. I am a WWE superstar; I’m there to entertain the WWE universe. And that’s what my job is to do and I do it well."
According to TMZ, Young, 29, is "the first openly gay wrestler ever at WWE...and the first headlining wrestler ever to come out while still signed to a major promotion. Other pro-wrestlers have been rumored to be gay, but that’s it...just rumors."
"Bottom line: this is big, big news. For all its chauvinism and testosterone-driven bravado, coming out in WWE is tantamount to coming out in the NFL," TMZ continues. "Of course, wrestling is a little different, particularly because of how physical it is, and how little clothing is involved -- but Darren is completely unfazed."
Fans and other WWE athletes are already reacting to Young’s announcement. WWE star and actor John Cena told TMZ he’s incredibly happy for him.
"Oh wonderful," Cena said. "I know Darren personally. Darren’s a great guy. That’s a very bold move for him. And congratulations for him for actually finally doing it."
Cena said he’s proud of Young, especially because he has a brother who is gay and knows it can be difficult for someone to come out. He added that he doesn’t think Young’s WWE career will be impacted and other wrestlers will accept him.
"For us, it’s entertainment ... and if you’re entertaining you shouldn’t be judged by race, creed, color or sexuality ... as long as you’re entertaining," Cena said.
Several people left supportive comments on TMZ’s article about Young’s coming out.
"Good for him. In today’s complex world of problems sexual orientation should NOT be an issue. MANNERS are what we ALL should be called out for. Who cares who you sleep with. We should care if you are rude," one person wrote. "Good for him! Hope he doesn’t get hassled for it by any of the stereotypical jocks in the company," another said.
"I’m all for this. The less enlightened members of society (and there are millions of them) need to know that gay men and women are also professional athletes," a reader wrote. "The more people are aware that gays exist in all walks of life the better. Athletes shouldn’t have to live in fear that their "secret" might be found out and they could lose their livelihood. There are many more reasons coming out is a positive move, but this is hardly the best forum. Suffice it to say and to quote Queen Martha, ’It’s a good thing.’"