“This is me. Unashamed, unabashedly me,” she declared in front of a framed image of herself as the male wrester fans came out to see in the ring. “This is the side of me that has hidden in the shadows, afraid and fearful of what the world would think; afraid of what my family, friends, and followers would say or do.”
The 42 year old San Francisco-native continued, “I am no longer afraid and I am no longer fearful. I can now say with confidence, that I love myself for who I am.”
Tuft became a professional wrestler in 2007, fighting in Ultimate Pro Wrestling ring. She moved on to Florida Championship Wrestling the following year, billing herself as Tyler Reks. After winning a few tag team and individual championships, she moved on to WWE’s Extreme Championship Wrestling before landing in what wrestling circles call “house shows.”
Reks found herself competing in the annual Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. In 2011, Reks became part of the new WWE production, Monday Night Raw. She went independent in 2014 before retiring years later.
Tuft shared the heart-wrenching process before coming out.
“The previous eight months have been some of the darkest of my entire life. The emotional turmoil of being transgender and having to face the world has almost ended me on multiple occasions.”
She said, “However, the day I stopped caring about what other people thought, was the day I truly became limitless and allowed my authentic self to come into the light.”
Tuft is married to Priscilla with whom she has a daughter.
She addressed them in her coming out statement, “My loving wife, family, and closest friends have accepted me for who I am. To them, I am forever grateful. Your support along the way means more than you will ever know.”
Tuft knows that in wrestling, there will be anti-transgender sentiments.
“It’s not my place to change any of your core beliefs. Just know that the outer shell may change, but the soul remains the same.”