Out pro wrestler Anthony Bowens: We need more openly LGBTQ athletes

Mon. January 28, 2019 1:18 PM by OnTopMag.com

In a cover interview with Gay Times, out professional wrestler Anthony Bowens talks about coming out twice.

Earlier this month, the 28-year-old Bowens, who often wrestles under the name "Vigilante," announced in a YouTube video that he identifies as gay, roughly two years after coming out bisexual.

"Around six or seven months ago, I was developing a new wrestling character, so I started to go over all the media work I've done over the past couple of years, and each article would describe me as 'the bisexual pro wrestler' and at the time, when I first came out two years ago, I felt that label was what closest represented me," said Bowens. "Reading it in the current day, it just didn't seem to fit anymore. As the months went on, I started to feel a lot stronger about that label."

"I didn't want them to think I was turning my back on anything, but I did want people to understand that as you get older your views of the world and your views of yourself change. I'm sure anybody who's looked back on their younger self, they can all recognize a difference in the way they think, and I definitely notice a difference. The closest thing that I want to be referred to as now is gay."

Bowens said that the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

"They like the fact that I can openly be myself. I'm not gonna sit here and say that homophobia is completely gone, because I'm sure it still exists, but it's kind of contained now because people know if they are to say something they shouldn't there will be a lot of negative backlash. We have a lot of support in this industry," he said.

He also called on other athletes to come out.

"There needs to be more openly LGBTQ athletes so we can normalize everything," Bowens said. "And as time goes on I think that will slowly happen, but only if we have more representation."

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine