Legendary WWE star Pat Patterson came out as a gay man last week to a host of support and applause from many of the sport’s most influential figures. As the first international WWE champion and one of the founders of the “Royal Rumble,” Patterson has been an influencer in wrestling for many years.
In an interview with TMZ, Patterson said, “For once in my life I’m going to be me now.” Though the announcement was actually taped in 2012, it wasn’t released until Thursday, 6/12, on Legends’ House on the WWE Network.
The news is another step forward for WWE, a sport which has an increasingly impressive reputation when it comes to inclusion for the LGBT community. Fellow WWE star Darren Young also came out as gay in August 2013, and has worked with groups like GLAAD and the NOH8 campaign to help advocate for equality in wrestling.
Athlete Ally is a member of Be a STAR Advisory Council to help further and amplify these inclusionary efforts.