Bennett Comes Out On National Coming Out Day

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The theme of this year’s National Coming Out Day was Born to Shine. One such person who took those words to heart and spoke his truth on October 11th was WWE referee Shawn Bennett. Bennett took to his Instagram to tell the world, “Oh yea, I’m gay!” The 33-year-old Orlando, Florida resident added, “There’s the answer to the question I get asked most on social media.”

Throughout the post, Bennett speaks to growing up and how he tried to ignore any feelings of homosexuality, dating, and engaging in a long-term relationship with a woman. He goes on to say how in his early twenties he started to realize he needed to be happy, channeling Lady Gaga saying how he feels born this way,

“To put my life in perspective, I started refereeing at age 14. I did my best to suppress any and all homosexual thoughts before and after that for a long time. I once long term dated a woman and for a while, tried to live my life that way. I didn’t come to my own full realization about myself until early 20s. That’s when I knew it was the way of life that would make me happy. As cliche as it sounds, I feel I was born this way.”

Unable to hide the secret any longer Bennet began coming out to family and friends in his late twenties. He never advertised that he was gay, but he also never lied when asked about it point-blank. His coming out journey mirrors many in the queer community,

“I came out to friends and family in my late twenties. That’s when I stopped hiding it, but would never put myself out there in anyway. People that knew, knew. People that asked, I would be truthful with. There are still important people in my life that I have never literally told.”

Talking about life as a referee, Bennett explains the fears of ever being outed, closing himself and his romantic life off from any type of conversation, 

“I spent my first 10 years involved in pro wrestling terrified of my own sexuality. I was convinced that I would never be successful if people knew I was gay. Those were fears that I made up in my head. Once I got to WWE, I would continue to keep to myself as much as possible. When discussing relationships around people that were not in my close circle, I would talk in a way that would hide the sex of whoever I was talking about. I would even pretend to be single when I wasn’t, just to avoid talking about my past partner.”

Bennett ends the post on a high note, proud of himself, his life, and his accomplishments. Tired of the metaphorical mask covering his true self, now a weight has been lifted off his shoulders,

“I’ve lived my dream multiple times over since then and I feel more strongly about sharing myself with everyone now more than ever. The fact that I haven’t been public meant that I was still hiding behind a mask. This post takes a ton of weight off of my shoulders. This post crumbles the wall that I’ve had up for so long and removes the mask. I’m proud of who I am, what I’ve accomplished, where my life is headed, and my way of life. Like everyone else, at the end of the day I just want to be happy, to give and receive love, both to myself and others.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bennett ends the post with an inspiring and empowering message to his twenty thousand followers,

Representation is important. Always face your fears. Always chase your dreams. Above all, always be yourself. It’s worth it.   


Sources: Pink News

2 thoughts on “Bennett Comes Out On National Coming Out Day”

  1. I love how you guys break down every single paragraph for us, in case we weren’t capable of reading it on our own and making sense of it. Awesome!

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