Everyone knows that professional wrestling is scripted, but there didn’t appear to be anything bogus about one WWE star’s acknowledgement that he is gay.
Darren Young — real name: Fred Rosser — became the first active professional wrestler to come out, stunning a TMZ cameraman at the Los Angeles airport with the news after the paparazzo asked him if a gay athlete could make it in the WWE or MMA.
"Absolutely, look at me," Young said. "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."
"To be honest, I don’t think [my sexuality] matters," Young added. "Does it matter? Does it matter to you? Does it change what you think about me?”
When the cameraman — who said he was “flabbergasted” at the news — described the proclamation as Young’s “coming out,” Young seemed to downplay the significance of the news.
“I guess if you want to call it coming out — I really don’t know what to say it is but I’m just letting you know,” he said. “I’m happy with who I am, I’m comfortable with myself, and I’m happy to be living the dream. I’m in L.A. for SummerSlam with WWE.
"You know, to be honest with you, I’m happy with myself. Some people might not like it, some people will like it, but I’m here to please myself. I’m here to be happy. It’s very important I’m happy with myself.”
When asked about setting an example, Young said he’s “hoping to be able to make a difference,” but noted that “someone’s sexual preference shouldn’t really matter.” He also said he’s not concerned about it being an issue among his peers in the WWE.
"We’re all adults, and to be honest with you, when I come to work, I come to work,” Young said. “Business is business. I’m a WWE superstar and I’m there to entertain the WWE universe, and that’s what my job is to do, and I do it well."
That sentiment seemed to be echoed by WWE star John Cena when TMZ tracked him down to ask him about Young’s announcement:
“Darren Young is an openly gay WWE superstar, and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Cena said. “If he tries to cause trouble in the locker room, that’s when it becomes an issue. It’s all about being professional. Darren Young is a consummate professional, and I’m actually proud of him for doing that.”
The WWE also issued a statement supporting Young:
"On TMZ this morning, WWE Superstar Darren Young revealed to the WWE Universe that he is gay. WWE is proud of Darren Young for being open about his sexuality, and we will continue to support him as a WWE Superstar. 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."