Professional wrestling walks a fine line between homoeroticism and a homophobic hypermasculinity. Men rolling around in shiny underwear with dramatic flair…while acting out “brutal” assaults. And while it’s one thing to wrestle nearly naked men in front of a crowd, it’s apparently another to do it in one’s bedroom.
So it’s no surprise that professional wrestler Anthony Bowens was hesitant to come out to his fellow wrestlers and fans.
“I’ve loved pro wrestling ever since I was 5 years old and I didn’t want my experience ruined because of other wrestlers thinking I got into it for the wrong (sexual) reasons,” Bowens writes for Outsports. “The ring is my sanctuary, where nothing else matters. I couldn’t bear to think that if I came out, I’d spend most of my time worrying if the person I was wrestling was uncomfortable and didn’t want to work with me.”
To make matters more complicated, his career was started to pick up. Over the past four years, Bowens has worked as a wrestler and fitness model, traveling internationally, appeared commercials for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and performing on WWE shows “Raw,” “Smackdown,” and “NXT.”
But then he met Michael. While Bowens has also known he was bisexual from a young age, he had never really dated. So when he clicked with his now-boyfriend, a new world opened up to him.
“Meeting Mike was a turning point in me being comfortable with myself in all settings,” Bowens says. “It was my first relationship and it was with a guy.”
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