Current Affairs

Here’s how one drag wrestler is changing the face of the sport

Jasmine Andersson November 7, 2017
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Rick Cataldo, who is based in Brooklyn in NYC, told Newsbeat that he hopes to “put a dent in the world of wrestling” as a drag performer.

The rising star, who has been wrestling since 2004, began performing in drag in 2014 as part of duo The Fella Twins.

Since then, Cataldo has paved the way for other LGBT wrestlers in the city to get involved in the sport.

“At an early age I was attracted because even in such a violent atmosphere there could be beauty and colour,” he tells Newsbeat.

“Plus, the big boobs and the blonde hair? That wasn’t so bad either.”

The wrestler says that his performances pay tribute to the women who inspired him as a child.

“I wanted to turn up at every show looking just as beautiful as the girl wrestlers on TV,” he says.

“I’ve stuck with it for three years because it’s working and finally people are like, ‘OK, Rick is doing something here.'”

But as every trailblazer knows, these battles don’t come without a hard fight.

At first, other wrestlers would bully Cataldo when they realised his sexual orientation.

“They’d throw my bags out of the locker room because they found out I was gay and it wasn’t just a character [I was playing],” he explains.

“To this day, independent companies won’t book me because of a fear of what families might say.”

But thanks to his work, other LGBT wrestlers have been inspired to partake in the sport.

Cataldo now hopes to bring his drag wrestling into the mainstream and promote LGBT wrestlers, according to the report.

Like a lot of other sports, wrestling still has a very small proportion of ‘out’ LGBT wrestlers.

At the time of publication, there are thirteen ‘out’ professional LGBT wrestlers in the world.

More: drag, LGBT, sport, US, wrestling

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