Darren Young, WWE Superstar, spoke out about being gay while waiting for his luggage at LAX. A cameramen from TMZ asked him if he thought a gay wrestler could be successful. His response? "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. Very happy."
The WWE spoke out in support of Young's decision to come out. "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," the organization said.
Young went on to ask TMZ "Does it matter? Does it matter to you? Does it change what you think about me? 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. 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 and it’s very important that I’m happy with myself. I’m hoping to be able to make a difference, you know? It’s very important to me that people understand that someone’s sexual preference shouldn’t really matter. It should be about the person."
Young, 33, is currently part of the Prime Time Players team alongside fellow Superstar Titus O’Neil. Young is the first WWE Superstar to come out as gay.
"Darren Young's courageous decision to speak out about being gay gives countless young LGBT people, athletes, and fans of the WWE someone to cheer for and look to," said GLAAD's Wilson Cruz. "With a demonstrated commitment to anti-bullying initiatives and LGBT inclusion, the WWE has paved the way for a gay Superstar to be welcomed and supported."
The You Can Play Project also spoke out in support:
"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. 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."
GLAAD is a proud partner of Be a STAR (Show Tolerance And Respect), an anti-bullying alliance founded by The Creative Coalition and WWE. Be a STAR ensures a positive and equitable social environment for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation through grassroots efforts.
WWE Superstars and Divas also participated in GLAAD's 'Be an Ally' PSA series, speaking out in support of LGBT people in a PSA which aired on USA Network as part of the 2012 WWE 'Tribute to the Troops' special. In 2011, WWE began work with GLAAD 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.
The WWE has also participated in Spirit Day, a day when GLAAD organizes millions to wear purple on October 17 in a stand up against bullying and in support of LGBT youth, for the past two years.
Congratulations and support came through Twitter:
Congratulations to @DarrenYoungWWE for being the first openly gay WWE Superstar!
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) August 15, 2013
— Triple H (@TripleH) August 15, 2013
— Chavo Guerrero jr. (@mexwarrior) August 15, 2013
— Matt Morgan (@BPmattmorgan) August 15, 2013
@DarrenYoungWWE I'm so proud of you!! See you this week!!
— Rosa Mendes (@LaRosaMendes) August 15, 2013
Good job @DarrenYoungWWE Respect!! Somewhere my friend Kanyon is smiling down.
— Gregory Shane Helms (@ShaneHelmsCom) August 15, 2013