Darren Young (Photo: WWE)
Darren Young, a wrestler with the WWE, is getting a lot of support after stating publicly that he's gay.
Young (real name: Fredrick Douglas Rosser) came out during an informal conversation with a TMZ photographer at an airport.
The interviewer asked Young whether a gay wrestler could be successful. Young laughed, and then said this:
"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. Very happy."
He also questioned whether the news is even important: "I don't think it matters. Does it matter? Does it change what you think about me?"
Check out the full interview below:
The photographer also asks Young whether he thinks his announcement will cause his fellow wrestlers to look at him differently in a sport that's "very testosterone-driven, macho," and whether he anticipates any discomfort from his fellow wrestlers.
"When I come to work, I come to work - business is business. I'm a WWE Superstar, I'm there to entertain the WWE universe, and that's what my job is to do, and I do it well," Young responded.
Some of Young's fellow WWE stars, and Stephanie McMahon, the Executive VP, Creative for the company, have spoken out online about the announcement:
Congratulations to @DarrenYoungWWE for being the first openly gay WWE Superstar!— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) August 15, 2013
The WWE issued a statement saying it is "proud of Darren Young for being open about his sexuality," and that the organization "will continue to support him as a WWE Superstar."
According to Deadspin, the announcement makes Young "the first publicly gay wrestler."
But other wrestlers have come out as gay or bisexual in the past.
Last year, Jeff Girard (left), a part-time professional wrestler whose stage name is Johnny Courageous, wrote a piece for Huffington Post about what it's like to be openly gay in the wrestling world.
Girard writes about earning the respect of the men he worked with, and like Young, he emphasized that his sexuality isn't a big deal.
His piece finishes by saying "being gay doesn't wholly define me. For me, when it comes to my work, being gay is really just a non-issue."
Orlando Jordan, who wrestled with the WWE from 2003-2006 and TNA Wrestling from 2010-2011, is openly bisexual. He unveiled his in-ring bisexual persona on March 29, 2010, in a performance that caused some controversy at the time.
In a 2010 interview with Outsports, he said he hoped his decision to go public would help "troubled teens, be it [those struggling] because of their race or their sexuality."
Jordan also said he never had a formal "coming out," but was honest about his sexuality with anyone who asked. He was released from his contract with TNA in 2011.
ESPN's Jonathan Coachman, who worked for WWE for a decade, was asked on a radio show earlier this year whether a gay wrestler would have any problems in the league. He said absolutely not, Deadspin reports.
"There were several openly gay wrestlers and some of our old school guys as well. Never an issue and not only were we getting naked in front of each other, but we were wrestling each other in the ring and it wasn't an issue."