|Interview With Mr X|
Our second interview comes to you this October 10, 2002.
Mr X is a closeted gay man, who wishes to remain anonymous, who works in the independent wrestling scene. He has seen it all and is willing to give his opinions to us now.
GayProWrestling: Mr X, how did you get started in the wrestling business and what positions have you held or been involved with?
Mr X: I started out as an assistant to the owners of a small company in Georgia in 1988 when I was on summer vacation. I mainly gave storyline ideas, picked up talent at the airport, and helped set up the ring. My aunt was the accountant for their biggest sponsor, and she knew I loved wrestling, so she hooked me up with them to give me something to do besides work. When I finished college and grad school, I taught at a small private school. For a fundraiser in early 1993, we put on a show through a promotion based out of Augusta, Georgia. I met some people through that, and when they opened up a company a few months later, I worked for them as both a local promoter and a member of the ring crew. They went out of business in 1994. When they wanted to reopen in 1995, they asked me to become an owner. I ran the "Gorilla" position and was co-writer of the TV show through early 1997. We were having problems getting along, so I took what I perceived was the best talent and left to open my own company with one of the guys. I still own that company, but I rarely run shows. I work for other promoters as a referee and manager. I am mainly doing talent development these days, and I have never been happier.
G: What has made you decide to remain in the closet as far as your own sexuality?
X: I'm pretty much in the closet inside and outside wrestling. I come from a very prominent family. I do not want to embarrass them. I think most of my straight friends know I'm gay, but it is pretty much "don't ask, don't tell." I have gotten used to it over the years, so I'm cool with it.
G: What would have to change for you to come out as gay?
X: To find the love of my life who could also wrestle for me inside and outside the ring.
G: If you did come out, how do you think people in the business would react?
X: My friends would probably say "No kidding. Like we haven't known that for years." There are people who are not my friends who have spread rumors that I'm gay, and they have done it for years. I could care less about it anymore. People like me for me. I don't think it would affect any of my true friendships.
G: Have you ever had a relationship with another wrestler?
X: No. As I said before, it is really my selfish dream to find someone who could both be a wrestler for me and be my lover. However, they would probably be the least pushed wrestler in the company. I've heard a lot of stories about guys getting pushes and spots because they slept with the promoter. I would avoid that at all costs. But if there is anyone reading this who is interested in a date, let me know! :-)
G: Are you aware of any openly gay wrestlers? Are you aware of closeted wrestlers?
X: Yes. On the indys and in WWE and Mexico and Japan and Europe.
G: Do you think the wrestling industry as a whole is homophobic?
X: Yes it is.
G: Who do you blame for that attitude?
X: Society, and organized religion in particular, is to blame. The values of society make virtually every industry homophobic. Until there is a shift in thought to where being gay is considered a natural state of being, things will never change.
G: What is your opinion of gay (or gay innuendo) characters in pro wrestling?
X: I really don't see the point in it. There are other ways to get the crowd to laugh. No one has yet to have a "Will" character as a wrestler. They are usually like "Jack" on Will and Grace. The gay gimmick is a comedy gimmick. I'm not a big fan of overt sexuality as a part of the show. Men and women wearing little is fine. But the boyfriend/girlfriend/who is so-and-so sleeping with angles are usually boring. The one exception I can think of is the Matt Hardy/Lita relationship as portrayed on TV and the short program they did with Dean Malenko wanting to date Lita. I enjoyed that, because it was so well-written and funny.
G: What do you think the public perception would be to another gay character such as Billy and Chuck, or even to a wrestler coming out as gay in his own personal life?
X: Fans will always laugh at a flaming gay gimmick. The guys will groan if there is any overt sexuality portrayed. If a wrestler came out as gay, if he is over enough before he does, he will probably still be just as over. If he (or she) is not over, it will probably do nothing for their career except give them 3 minutes of fame before they are buried again.
G: Do you believe that the media and GLAAD made too big of a deal out of the entire WWE Smackdown wedding angle?**Editor's note- yes this may include our webmaster as the media**
X: They took it too seriously. It was a publicity stunt. They acted like it was real. Don't they realize that pro wrestling is a WORK? The only parts of the ceremony that I found remotely entertaining were the Godfather's Ho Train, when Bischoff unmasked, and the beat down. The rest of it was a waste of TV time. If anyone was upset by it, they are clueless as to what wrestling is and why things are done the way they are. I was offended by it because it was boring. I would have rather seen wrestling. I was offended by all of the GLAAD commentary because obviously that organization is run by marks!
G: Do you believe pro wrestling organizations, and WWE in particular, should try to market their product towards homosexuals as a growing fan base?
X: In light of the fact that gays have the highest disposable income of any group in the U.S. and the downturn in the wrestling business in general, I would certainly do it. And it would be easy to do without being overt about it. Wrestling as a sport is homoerotic. Have the guys show more of their bodies. I think that's one of the reasons Austin and Rock and HHH are so popular, especially with gays. They look good and don't wear a lot of clothing. Sex sells, and the easiest sex is skin.
G: Well Mr X, I would really like to thank you for your time and insight on the matter. It has been a pleasure.
X: The pleasure is mine. Thanks for having me.