Professional wrestler Anthony Bowens wasn’t expecting to come out as bisexual. He then found himself on camera filming a silly video when his boyfriend accidentally outed him. Instead of deleting, they decided to post, beginning his journey of coming out as a bisexual man in professional wrestling.
In a new op-ed for Outsports, the 26-year-old opens up about his struggle with coming out; “Ever since high school I knew that was something different about me. I started to notice that I’d see a couple walk down the street and think how attractive both the guy and the girl were. It would become more prevalent as college rolled around and I found myself with a crappy love life.”
“Understandably, being openly bisexual [in wrestling] could be perceived as a problem,” Bowens admits. “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.”
Three months into his relationship with boyfriend Pavano, the pair uploaded a video to YouTube on Pavano’s channel called “The Laughing Challenge,” where Pavano described Bowens as his boyfriend.
“The video was a blast to do, but I worried that someone from the wrestling world would stumble across it and learn my secret. I decided to let it be posted anyway.”
Slowly, friends and teammates began coming out of the woodwork in the ensuing weeks telling Bowens they had seen the video and it was OK that he was bi. This inspired Bowen to officially come out in January to everyone.
On Facebook, Anthony Bowens posted:
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…
“The response was overwhelming positive — 986 likes and more than 200 comments, all positive; only a very few people unfriended me,” Bowens remembers. “I couldn’t help but cry as I let loose all of the years of stress, anxiety and fear of judgment. It was the best decision I had ever made.”
“I can’t even begin to tell you how many people I’ve spoken to over the years who are hiding and suppressing themselves out of fear of being judged. If I can help inspire at least one person to fight past their struggles through my journey or inspire at least one person to live their dreams, it’s all worth it for me. The journey and the fight is just beginning!”
Follow Anthony Bowens on Instagram here.
(Featured photo by Yasmeen Andersen)