WWE Stars and LGBT Groups Laud Darren Young’s Coming Out

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Thursday August 15, 2013

Several WWE stars and LGBT groups expressed their support for Darren Young, a WWE star who announced that he was gay on Thursday.

"Congratulations, @DarrenYoungWWE for living YOUR life, YOUR way. #proud," Triple H, WWE icon, tweeted.

"ENORMOUS courage out of @DarrenYoungWWE today! U should be very proud of urself Darren! #WhatAGreatExamopleForOthers," fellow WWE star Matt Morgan wrote on the social media platform.

"Good job @DarrenYoungWWE Respect!! Somewhere my friend Kanyon is smiling down," Gregory Helms, another WWE wrestler, tweeted, referring to Chris Kanyon, a gay WWE star who died in 2010.

"WWE is proud of Darren Young for being open about his sexuality, and we will continue to support him as a WWE Superstar," WWE officials said in a statement to GLAAD. "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."

Officials from the You Can Play Project, an LGBT group that aims to eliminate homophobia in sports, also released a statement through GLAAD, saying, "Darren Young’s coming out is an important step in challenging homophobia in sports. Everyone at You Can Play appreciates his honesty and openness with those in his sport and with his fans, and we share in his happiness. We also appreciate the conversations You Can Play has had with WWE over the past several months.

"WWE’s commitment to Darren, and to LGBT athletes, staff and fans is exceptional," the statement continues. "We applaud the WWE team for that commitment and we look forward to continuing our relationship. It’s an important day for WWE and its fans, for an entire sport and, most importantly, for an honest, happy gay athlete. We offer our sincere congratulations to Darren, and our thanks for his leadership."

WWE’s John Cena, who has a gay older brother, lauded Young, 29, as well.

"Good for him. That’s fantastic. I know Darren personally. Darren’s a great guy. That’s a very bold move for him," Cena said. "And congratulations for him for actually finally doing it. It’s all about being professional, and Darren Young is a consummate professional. 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."

GLAAD notes that the WWE co-founded the Be a STAR (Show Tolerance And Respect) program, an anti-bullying group, with the Creative Coalition.

"Be a STAR ensures a positive and equitable social environment for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation through grassroots efforts," GLAAD writes.

WWE Super Stars and Divas also were part of GLAAD’s "Be an Ally" PSA series, where athletes spoke in support for the LGBT community. WWE started work with GLAAD in 2011 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," GLAAD writes.