It’s been one year since Darren Young became the first openly gay wrestler in the WWE, and he’s penned a sweet little reflection on the past year.
“Looking back on my life since coming out a year ago only makes me wish I’d had the strength to come out sooner,” he writes. As you’ll recall, his coming-out was a bit of a surprise, even to him. A TMZ mosquito just happened to ask him if there could be a successful gay WWE star, and just like that, Darren was basically like, “Yeah, me.”
“Does it matter to you? Does it change what you think about me?” he said at the time. “I guess if you want to call it coming out; I really don’t know what to say it is but I’m just letting you know. I’m happy with who I am, I’m comfortable with myself, and I’m happy to be living the dream.”
Now a year later, Young offers some advice to people still in the closet: “The best first step you can take is coming out to those who are closest to you. The most painful experience was hiding my true self from those I loved.”
He also talks about how rewarding he’s found it to work with GLAAD, NOH8 and Athlete Ally. And he tells a story about a fan who came up to him two days after the coming-out: “He told me he had seen the news about me and admired my courage. He said hearing my story helped him come out to his family. He was emotional and started crying. I knew what those tears were about.”
“If I could go back in time, I would tell myself this: You have more support than you think you do,” he writes. “Being true to yourself is key to reaching your personal potential.”