You know how it goes: TMZ cameramen loiter in areas highly trafficked by celebrities and waylay them, asking all kinds of arrant questions in the hope of getting a memorable quote.
Well, it sure worked yesterday. A TMZ tick stationed at LAX came across WWE wrestler Darren Young and asked him if he thought a gay athlete could compete without trouble in pro wrestling.
He wasn’t in any way expecting or looking for the answer he got: Young said, “Absolutely. Look at me. I'm a WWE superstar and to be honest with you, I'll tell you right now, I’m gay. And I’m happy. I’m very happy.”
Just like that, Young, 33, became the first openly out pro wrestler. How long before this becomes a story line on RAW? We’re guessing it may come up on Monday.
Young was born Fred Rosser in Union, N.J., although his WWE bio (and ring identity) has him as a native of Miami. His epic battle against Prince Nana for the East Coast Wrestling Association title in Newark, De., is the stuff of legend.
He is currently half of the bad boy tag team, The Prime Time Players. But he still grapples individually. In fact, in this video (below) you can see him getting mauled by John Cena earlier this year.
Tracked down for a reaction late last night (by another TMZ leach), Cena said, "I know Darren personally. Darren's a great guy. That's a very bold move for him. And congratulations for him for actually finally doing it."
Late this morning, the WWE released this statement:
"WWE is proud of Darren Young for being open about his sexuality, and we will continue to support him as a WWE Superstar. Today, in fact, Darren will be participating in one of our Be A Star anti-bullying rallies in Los Angeles to teach children how to create positive environments for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation."
Young who has wrestled under the noms de guerre Frederick of Hollywood and Officer Sampson, told the cameraman, “I’m happy to be living the dream. I’m happy with myself. It’s very important to me that people see that someone’s sexual preference shouldn't really matter.”
We’re guessing this means that Darren's romance with WWE Diva Tamina Stuka has just been a publicity stunt. Darn!