It was a video that was posted in September of last year that lead to Anthony Bowens to be open about his sexuality.
I am a professional wrestler. My “wardrobe” is basically a pair of creatively designed underwear that hugs my muscular frame and leaves little to the imagination.
My job description is to entertain fans through body language, story lines featuring over-the-top characters and, well, grappling other men dressed in a similar way.
Understandably, being openly bisexual could be perceived as a problem. It’s what kept me closeted to all but a few from the time I started wrestling as a pro five years ago. It took a Youtube video to make me see that coming out was not going to be the problem I thought it would be.
It was this past fall and I was three months into a relationship with my boyfriend, Michael Pavano. Mike and I had uploaded a video to YouTube on his channel called “The Laughing Challenge,” where he described me as his boyfriend.
Was there fallout from the video? If you watched, Anthony did not even think about it when Michael said the word boyfriend.
Weeks later, I received a text that made my stomach drop.
It was from my best friend in the wrestling business, and someone I specifically made sure to keep my secret from. The text read: “Bro, why didn’t you tell me?” I knew exactly what he meant but I played dumb. “What do you mean?” I replied. He response was that he saw “the video.”
Much to my great relief, he told me he didn’t care and that I was one of his best friends in the business.
Tearing up here!!!
He also said that some of the other wrestlers had watched it too and tipped him off about it. I was relieved that he was cool with everything but a bit nervous because other wrestlers knew. It was after this that I came to the conclusion that I had a decision to make.
We love Outsports.com and the space they give our LGBT players to share their stories. And that is what Anthony Bowens did. Head over to Outsports.com to hear his inspirational story about how he always wanted to make a difference in someone's life, his Seton Hall baseball times, his career in and traveling with professional wrestling, modeling career, and his battle with being open about his bisexuality. He was fine with his bisexuality, but not that others may know about it.
His telling of meeting Michael and starting to date (his first relationship with a guy) is extremely touching and we are all jealous of them both.
And then the video … and then his parents … and then this post on Facebook in January
I'm not going to make this a long winded post but I think it's time. Just wanted to let everyone know im Bisexual. I look forward to changing perceptions and breaking stereotypes as I continue on my journey. I have zero patience for negativity so if this bothers you please delete me. Thanks!
The response? I'll stop paraphrasing. Go over to Outsports.com and read his telling! Okay, one last thing.
I had three reasons for coming out:
First, I felt it was finally the right time for me. Second, I asked Mike to be in my life and the fact that I asked him to censor a part of his life because of me hiding was nonsense. He put up with that for five months and that sacrifice meant the world to me. I truly can say I love him.
The final reason goes back to way I started this article. I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I realized I have a unique platform to spread awareness about ongoing issues in the world, to break stereotypes and show everyone that they can be themselves and do what ever they put their minds to no matter what their sexuality is.
We are moved Anthony. I'm going over to Outsports.com and read the original all over again.
Hmmm, since you are such an inspiration, we wonder if the WWE will take note and move forward with the WWE Plans To Introduce LGBT Characters. Sometimes reality is better than fiction.
Anthony Bowens, 26, is a professional wrestler, fitness model, and actor signed with BMG Models in New York. He played baseball at Seton Hall University and is a 2013 graduate of Montclair State University with a degree in broadcasting. He can be reached via Twitter and Instagram at @Bowens_Official or by e-mail: AnthonyMBowens@gmail.com.
Story editor: Jim Buzinski