Nir Rotenberg, an Israeli pro wrestler known as Rixon Ruas, the current champion of the Israeli Wrestling League, recently came out in an interview as a way to provide other LGBTQ wrestlers the role model he never had.
Rixon Ruas became champion of the Israeli Wrestling League on Oct. 8, 2017. Before winning the championship, he was already out to his friends within the League. But after winning, he felt an obligation to come out for others.
He says, “I understood the extent of the responsibility and the influence that my actions have now that I am a champion, and I knew that it was time to come out of the closet in public. If I had a gay role model as a young wrestler, the fears I’ve had in the past would have been avoided.”
He added that he wanted to increase visibility of gay people and to also highlight how far gay Israelis have come and how much further they have to go. While Israel is often hailed as an LGBTQ-friendly oasis in the largely anti-gay Middle East, same-sex marriages aren’t legal there (though they somewhat recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere) and so-called ex-gay conversion therapy remains legal, even though pretty much every psychological association agrees that it’s a form of mental abuse.
Also, the country’s adoption system treats same-sex couples like second-class citizens and the country is criticized for oppressing LGBTQ Palestinians in its never-ending battle with their neighboring country over territory and settlements.
He says, “We are here not only to enjoy the benefits that came from the results of the struggles conducted by our predecessors, but also to continue to fight for those who follow us. I don’t want to be the one in whose period the struggle was stopped because we apparently achieved enough. There’s so much to accomplish.”
Here are pictures of Israeli pro wrestler Rixon Ruas:
#FlashbackFriday back to 2015 when I made my return to @israeliwrestling and got my first victory in the league. #wrestling #prowrestling #israeliwrestling #wwe #nxt #iwl #fit #fitness #fitnessmotivation #gym #diet #motivation #believer #life #art #israel #telaviv #champion #championship #mabuza #fbf #friday
#throwbackthursday back to 2015 when I made my debut in the california based promotion @ewfempire #tbt #tbthursday #wrestling #prowrestling #israeliwrestling #wwe #ewf ##iwl #fit #fitness #fitnessmotivation #gym #diet #motivation #life #art #israel #champion #championship #california #californiadreaming
Although he will fight his first match as an openly gay wrestler tomorrow, Rixon Ruas says that he won’t drastically change his wrestling character to reflect his coming out. “Just as I will not build an extreme gay character in order to win a battle, I will also not hide the fact that I’m gay,” he says.
He currently lives Tel Aviv with his partner Ronen and Ronen’s two children. He says they want get married and have kids of their own. The Israeli pro wrestler also says he’d like to promote himself abroad to help raise support for gay people and LGBTQ athletes in other countries.