American professional wrestler Anthony Bowens says that his high profile coming out as bisexual has been an overwhelmingly positive experience.
Bowens, 26, came out after a months-old video in which he and his partner Michael Pavano were joking caught people’s attention.
In the clip (watch below), Pavano casually referred to Bowens as his boyfriend, which the wrestler hoped no-one would notice.
But when one of his wrestler friends saw the video and messaged him, asking “Bro, why didn’t you tell me?”, Bowens decided to open up about his sexuality and his relationship to the world.
He wrote an article for Outsports, published on Tuesday, in which he revealed that since starting out in the business at the age of 21, he had been “struggling on the inside” with his sexuality. “I was afraid to tell the world that I was bisexual,” he said.
Bowens explained that he had been afraid that if his colleagues knew he was bisexual they would think that he got into wrestling for sexual reasons.
“Those thoughts have never crossed my mind. The ring is my sanctuary, where nothing else matters. I couldn’t bear to think that if I came out, I’d spend most of my time worrying if the person I was wrestling was uncomfortable and didn’t want to work with me,” he wrote.
Bowens said that he chose to come out now because it felt like it was “the right time” and because it was unfair on his un-closeted boyfriend “to censor a part of his life because of me hiding was nonsense”.
Bowens and boyfriend, Michael Pavano
He added that he also wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. “I realised 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 whatever they put their minds to no matter what their sexuality is.”
Speaking to Outsports Radio after his coming out made headlines, the New Jersey native said that the reaction has been “pretty crazy” and that it “has touched so many people”.
Also interviewed, Pavano admitted that he was initially concerned that his partner’s work involves him spending time with other men wearing little more than underwear, but said that it turned out that “jealousy is not an issue at all… I one hundred percent trust him.”
As for the future, Bowens, who is also a model, said that would like to sign with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and plans to move more into the acting world. “I have lot of different things going on” he said.