Journalist Andy Towle's "site with homosexual tendencies", towleroad.com, recently released their list of the most important instances of people who revealed their sexual preferences to the world in 2013. And pro wrestler/sport entertainer Darren Young placed on the alphabetical list entitled, I'm Gay, LGBT, "Whatever": The 53 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2013. Here's their write-up for the PrimeTime Player:
WWE superstar Darren Young flew out of the closet at the prompting of a TMZ paparazzo in August upon arriving at LAX, Young was asked by TMZ whether a gay man could succeed in the WWE to which Young responded, "Absolutely. Look at me. I'm a WWE superstar and, to be honest with you, I'm gay." The confession caught the camera-man off guard and Young made instant headlines, fueling the ongoing dialogue about gays in professional sports.
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. offered its support of Young following his statement: "[The] WWE is proud of Darren Young for being open about his sexuality, and we will continue to support him as a WWE Superstar."
It's a nice accolade for Young, and some positive public relations for his employer in a market where they don't have a sterling reputation.
In addition to that, it's an opportunity to reflect on how WWE has handled the news and subsequent publicity. After some initial fears that he might be pushed to the moon, or booed out of red state arenas, Creative treated Young and his tag partner Titus O'Neil very much the same as they had before - only now they were babyfaces instead of heels.
Naturally, they don't hesitate to send him out to Be A STAR rallies, but it's refreshing that the powers-that-be have followed The Big Show's lead and treated DY exactly as they would have had he not come out.
What do you think, Cagesiders? Should WWE do more with their civil rights figure? Does Young merit a push on his own talents regardless of his places as an LGBT role model? Or should they keep with their current approach of "we're proud of you, now get back to work"?