Friday, August 16, 2013
Rant #1,022: Gay Wrestler
WWE Wrestler Darren Young has come out of the closet, as he has admitted that he is gay.
In what apparently is a true story, Young simply admitted to be gay--not with a grand news conference--but via a Twitter post made while he was getting his baggage after a long plane flight to Los Angeles, where the WWE is holding its annual SummerSlam pay-per-view event on Sunday.
It was so matter of fact that it is almost surprising, because the WWE never does anything in a quiet way.
Young is not the first professional wrestler that was gay, not by a long shot.
There have been numerous gay wrestlers, and even a few wrestlers who were exploited for their sexuality, going all the way back to Gorgeous George, who, by all accounts, was not gay.
The difference here is that Young came out in a new era, one where gay people are legally accepted in many, many places in our world.
I said "Whoopee do!" before because personally, I really don't care about a person's sexuality, and especially an athlete's sexuality.
To me, I don't care if he is black, white, brown, red or green, and I don't care if he is gay or straight, if he comes up in the ninth inning for my team with the winning run on base, and he gets that run in, he is a hero; if he strikes out, he is a bum.
Plain and simple, and it has nothing to do with his background.
In Young's case, he is in a strange position, because of his previous role in the company.
Young is a second or third-tier WWE Superstar at best.
He is in a long-running tag team with Titus O'Neill known as "The Prime Time Players," who look good as they come down the runway, but ultimately lose just about every bout that they are in.
And as solo wrestlers, they put on a good show, but that is about it.
They are always portrayed as villains, get booed and laughed at at the same time.
To me, the most interesting thing here is how the WWE will exploit this--or if they will exploit it at all.
The WWE is known to exploit all of their wrestlers' personal lives to a point where they aren't personal anymore.
And no one is above this.
Their top star, John Cena, has himself had his personal life exploited and exposed.
As he was going through his divorce, his storyline often touched on his personal problems with his soon to be ex-wife.
So will Young be exploited too?
Right now, some of the biggest bigwigs in the WWE have pledged support for him, including Triple H, Vickie McMahon and Cena himself.
But remember, this is really not a star wrestler. They can applaud him, but what else can they do?
If Young starts moving up the ladder quickly, with or without O'Neill, then it is pretty obvious that the WWE is exploiting the fact that they now have an acknowledged gay wrestler.
It will show their sensitivity to the subject, and in this new world we live in, it will probably be applauded by both wrestling fans and the mainstream as a good move.
However, if Young still lingers as basically a "bum," will the WWE be raked over the coals by some, saying they are missing a major opportunity to show their solildarity with everyone, no matter what their sexuality?
Will fans accept him for what he is, no matter what?
I think so, but I can guarantee that some fans will probably not be so accepting, and he will certainly be open to taunts--I mean, this is wrestling, where full body contact is the norm, not the exception.
Stay tuned. This should be interesting.
Posted by Larry at 2:50 AM