Anthony Bowen discusses homophobia in the wrestling business.

Anthony Bowens Discusses Homophobia In The Wrestling Business


AEW star Anthony Bowens was a recent guest on the Under the Ring podcast, as he commented on how much the wrestling business has changed in terms of handling homophobia.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On the importance of his platform: “It means a lot to me to be an LGBTQ athlete because I struggled a lot with finding myself when I was younger. As crappy as it was, there’s people that go through way worse than I did. So, having this platform to be a positive influence, and be visible, and be present in a space where people typically think it wouldn’t be a safe space for LGBTQ athletes is very important to me. I think it’s cool that I get to show the world that there are all different shapes, sizes, and personalities to being gay. There isn’t just one stereotypic image of what it is. Hopefully, I can provide hope to anybody else that is in the closet and dreams of one day becoming an entertainer, or a pro wrestler. I am hoping that I can open more doors as I continue on through my journey.”

On the fan who shouted an anti-gay slur at him during an AEW Dynamite match: “In terms of the public, just don’t be a crap human being, treat people with respect. We had an incident a few months ago where somebody yelled something from the crowd. Which I have never really experienced too much, or heard too much. Probably because either I am focused on the match, or it just doesn’t really happen a lot. Just don’t bring that energy and that crap to the arena. I get it in terms of you wanting to yell at the bad guy and such but leave homophobia, transphobia, or racist stuff, take that crap and leave it someplace else. If that’s what you’re going to bring to the arena, don’t even show up.”

On the atmosphere backstage in AEW: “Absolutely, that was one of the things that drew me to AEW, outside of the product is fantastic. When I got there as an extra I think in August/September of 2020 I was so relaxed. I wasn’t walking on eggshells. I saw people like Sonny Kiss, and Nyla Rose just authentically being themselves without having to worry or hide. Or put up these walls to protect themselves from other people, or show any others who they truly are. I think the locker room has been fantastic, and I have always had so much support from fellow professional wrestlers. I have never really felt unsafe at all in any locker room that I have been in.”

On the wrestling industry doing its part to keep homophobia out: “I am sure on the independents there are some pockets of things that exist. But I think wrestlers, and fans too, have done a good job of policing that nonsense. Make sure it doesn’t exist in pro wrestling. Will we completely eradicate it? I think that’s something hard to do. There’s always going to be those select few people that carry that nonsense around with them. But, I think the acceptance in the wrestling space in 2022 is way better than what it was when I first started. Because, there were times when I first started where I was like, ‘that kind of kept me in the closet,’ I would say.’” What are your thoughts on Anthony Bowen’s comments above?

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