Professional wrestler Anthony Bowens expected to face backlash within the world of wrestling when he came out as bisexual earlier this year, but he never anticipated that the real issue would be people questioning the validity of his orientation altogether.
The 27-year-old decided to officially come out this year after a YouTube video that he posted with his boyfriend outed him to some of his colleagues. He first shared the news on Facebook before writing an essay in OutSports that spread his truth to a much wider audience.
“I woke up the next day, and my phone was just melting because of the notifications and how many people were sharing it, news outlets online that were picking it up,” Bowens said in an interview on Party Foul Radio with Pollo & Pearl. “I was getting messages from literally around the world thanking me. Saying I was an inspiration.”
Bowens said he would have come out sooner, but he thought that being bisexual would put his career at risk. After reading the comments on his OutSports story, he soon realized his fears were unfounded, but instead learned that he was now facing stigma over an unexpected issue.
“I thought there would be more negativity around the stigma of [a pro wrestler] being part of the LGBT community, but the negativity came more from people getting in arguments over bisexuality,” he shared.
The wrestler said the negative comments mostly centered around people questioning what it even means to be bisexual and assuming he was just gay and too scared to admit it.
Bowens confessed that he didn’t even realize that bisexual people faced such stigma, saying that it seemed so strange that people didn’t believe him just because he was in a relationship with another man.
“You can date a dude or marry a dude and be with him the rest of your life, and that doesn’t change the attraction. The stimulation doesn’t change,” he said. “That’s the reason why it’s LGBTQ—lesbian, bisexual…The LGBTQ community comes in all shapes and sizes.”