Professional wrestler Anthony Bowens has spoken about tackling the stigma and erasure that surrounds bisexuality and his own fight for recognition since coming out earlier this year.
However, he said he was also “surprised” by the number of people who denied his sexuality, rather just insisting that he was gay,
He said: “I thought there would be more negativity around the stigma of me being a part of the LGBTI community.
“But the negativity came more from people debating and arguments over bisexuality and what it means to be bi or gay.”
Bowens said that the discussions over his sexuality “wasn’t the point” of him coming out.
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“The point was it’s somebody new whose trying to help fight for everyone to try to gain equality.
“But in my opinion, you can be a man and still be bi and that doesn’t change the fact that you’re sexually turned on by a female,” he added.
The star went on to explain that he probably would have come out before if it wasn’t for homophobia and biphobia in the wrestling community.
However, he was compelled to come out because of his strong support network in his friends, family and boyfriend, Michael Pavano – whom he announced his relationship with when he came out.
“If it wasn’t for wrestling, I probably would’ve come out a long time ago but I didn’t know how people would react,” Bowens said. “It’s the fear of the unknown.”
That fear of the unknown led to Bowens often feeling vulnerable and it took a toll on him emotionally.
“It did wear me down a lot. I like to consider myself an emotionally strong person but I did have my moments where, if I was by myself, I would cry thinking about it.
“It’s definitely a relief to just be myself now and know that nothing has changed.
“You can’t control what people think,” he added. “You never know what they’re going to think.”