WWE Superstar Becky Lynch is advocating for LGBT+ inclusion in wrestling—telling PinkNews that a wrestler’s sexuality shouldn’t stop them from achieving stardom.
While representation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people has increased across media and politics over the last 20 years, the world of professional sports has seen slow progress.
It was only in 2013 that basketball player Jason Collins became the first openly gay player in a major US team sport when he joined NBA team the Brooklyn Nets. A year later, Michael Sam became the first openly gay American football player to be drafted in the NFL.
But many sportspeople remain closeted throughout their careers—perhaps for fear of homophobia from peers and fans. Rugby player Gareth Thomas only came out as gay in the final years of his career, and footballer Robbie Rogers came out upon his initial retirement in 2009.
In the typically macho WWE, there has only been one openly gay performer—Darren Young—whose career, while impressive, never measured up to the biggest wrestlers in the business: Think John Cena, or The Rock, or Daniel Bryan. And there is currently only one openly lesbian wrestler in WWE: Sonya Deville.
But that can, and will, change, says Becky Lynch.
Watch the Becky Lynch interview below:
The champion says that there “absolutely” could be an LGBT revolution in WWE, too. The company has, in the past, depicted offensive stereotypes of homosexuality.
But Lynch tells PinkNews: “It doesn’t matter your gender, your race, your sexuality, whatever it is… we’re all equal.
“We are all 100 percent equal, and it’s what you do with that that counts.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re working on ourselves and that we’re making ourselves the best, and let all of the other things be damned. Because it doesn’t matter. We’re all people at the end of the day.”
Lynch adds: “We have to scratch and claw, and do what we have to do to to get to the top… and that’s the way it should be. And we need to see that. We need to see that on all walks of media, television, entertainment… it has to all be equal.”
Gay wrestler could be top star, says Becky Lynch
The Irish wrestler says she hopes that an openly gay wrestler in WWE wouldn’t be treated any different than any other wrestler—and could even be a main event star, like her, Ronda Rousey, Roman Reigns and AJ Styles.
“It’s our humanity… and our sexuality is so tied in with that. It shouldn’t ever be a thing that anyone’s ever scared to [come out],” says Lynch.
“There should be no bias. There’s no reason that there should be. Why does it make a difference? You have a skill or ability to be whatever you are… just go do your job.”
Becky Lynch is The Man
With her recent show-stopping match against Charlotte Flair at October’s WWE Evolution pay-per-view, and a hot feud with former UFC star Ronda Rousey in recent weeks, Becky Lynch has become the must-watch character in WWE. (The pair were due to wrestle at WWE’s Survivor Series injured on Sunday, but Lynch was on Monday’s episode of Raw.)
In fact, Lynch herself has begun calling herself The Man—breaking the gender binary in the process.
So, what does it mean to be The Man? For Lynch, it’s a testament to the fact that she is the hottest act in WWE, man or woman.
“It’s walking into the locker room—the male locker room—it’s like, ‘Sorry, lads, none of you are cutting the mustard. I’m the man now. I’m taking over the ship now,” says the champion.
“I’m the most victorious of all Superstars, both on Raw and SmackDown, in 2018. I’ve won the most matches. Therefore, I am the man of not just the women’s locker room, but also the men’s locker room.”
WWE Survivor Series streams live on the WWE Network on Sunday 18 November.