“I’ve been suppressed in these feelings for so long in my life,” said Young, 29. “I just need to be happy. To the day I’m six feet under, I will always say ‘I want to be happy.’ And I’m happy now.” Young wrestles for World Wrestling Entertainment and has received support and praise from his colleagues and company. The WWE released a statement midday Thursday congratulating Young on his announcement:
“WWE is proud of Darren Young for being open about his sexuality, and we will continue to support him as a WWE Superstar.”
As comfortable as Young appeared in the candid interview, he told Lauer Friday he had been living in fear he would be “outed” by someone in the wrestling world before he was ready. “I was terrified,” Young admitted. “And I think anybody in my shoes would feel the same way. But, you know it took some guts.” Young revealed to Lauer he spoke with NBA veteran and current free agent Jason Collins Thursday night. Collins, who announced he was gay earlier this year in an article for Sports Illustrated, served as an inspiration to Young and even gave him advice on how to handle increased public attention.
Young said he expects a mixed reaction from the crowd the next time he steps in the ring but is more concerned with his role moving forward. “At the end of the day, I want to be able to be a role model,” Young said. “I want to be a role model to people that are afraid to come out. I want to be there. I want to be able to speak at different functions and educate and tell my story.” One of WWE’s premiere pay-per-events, SummerSlam, is Sunday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
article by Todd Johnson via thegrio.com