It’s something that’s never been shied away from or made a major element of his on-screen character, but Bowens is also a gay man. And that is still relatively rare in the world of pro wrestling, especially in promotions whose shows are on national television multiple times per week.
That combination of factors led Out Magazine to name Bowens the #1 Groundbreaker in their annual Out 100, “a prestigious compilation of the year’s most impactful and influential LGBTQ+ people.”
I'm extremely honored to be named the #1 groundbreaker on the @outmagazine 2023 Out100 list. A list highlighting this yea'rs most impactful & influential LGBTQ+ people.— Anthony Bowens (@Bowens_Official) October 17, 2023
I love you all & thank you for coming along with me on this amazing journey. ✂️ @AEW https://t.co/5pIh9P30Tr
Out’s write-up for Bowens cites a pair of viral moments: when an arena of wrestling fans chanted “he’s gay” supportively in response to QTV’s Harley Cameron hitting on him during a June episode of Rampage, and well, you know...
Bowens is also the self-proclaimed “Scissor King.” His signature move is forming an A formation with his fingers and sometimes performing a scissor-shake with others in a sign of friendship, sparking a trend in wrestling and beyond.
He also talked about his decision to come out in 2017, again proving why he’s a worthy honoree:
“There’s a time where I wasn’t out, I was in the closet, and I didn’t know how that would affect my career,” Bowens shares. “And part of wanting to come out was to help people who were in my shoes and to do that through my love of professional wrestling.”
Join us in sending congratulations to Anthony, and you can read more about the Out 100 here.