Darren Young may not be a household name, but he has just become the first pro wrestling star in a major organization to announce he’s gay.
Young, who flew into Los Angeles on Wednesday for this weekend’s SummerSlam at the Staples Center, was responding to a TMZ cameraman who asked if he thought a gay wrestler could be successful in WWE.
“Absolutely,” he told TMZ.
“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. I’m very happy.”
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Asked how he thought others in WWE would respond, Young said: “Some people might not like it, and some people will like it.”
“Someone’s sexual preference really shouldn’t matter, you know. It should be about the person,” he added.
WWE released a statement supporting its star.
“WWE is proud of Darren Young for being open about his sexuality, and we will continue to support him as a WWE Superstar,” the statement read, according to TMZ. “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.”
Folks taking to social networking sites seemed to react favorably, too.
“I’m more than proud of Darren Young for having the courage to come out,” tweeted @BretHart.
“Congratulations Darren Young,” tweeted @KevinMackin9.
“I’m so glad that Darren Young came out to the world,” tweeted @erikkaBEBOP. “I definitely support him!”
In his spur-of-the-moment interview at the LAX baggage terminal, Young told TMZ, “I’m happy with who I am. I’m comfortable with myself. I’m hoping to be able to make a difference. It’s very important to me that people understand that someone’s sexual preference really doesn’t matter.”
Young is the latest gay athlete to come out. NBA center Jason Collins recently told Sports Illustrated that he is gay
, becoming the first active player in one of the four major sports to do so.
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