Wrestler Sonny Kiss in his signature colourful gear
When you think of gay wrestlers, you think of greased up muscle men in bulging wrestling singlets right? Or is that just us? Professional wrestling has been a wildly popular pastime with some of the biggest stars of today coming from the ring (we’re looking at you Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson).
Three, two, one, FIGHT!
From the WWF to the WWE, the drama and the storylines is what’s kept people coming back to the choreographed fighting for more for decades. With the likes of Hulk Hogan and Brett The Hitman Hart household names around the world during its heyday in the nineties and naughties, these guys have been role models to kids around the world for as long as we remember. Indeed, Chris Hemsworth is currently bulk up to play Hogan in the forthcoming biopic.
Step forward pro wrestler Sonny Kiss who has flipped the industry on its head, literally. LGBTQ wrestlers are not necessarily a new thing with some ‘storylines’ including a bit of man love over the years but that was for the most part just for show. One look at Sonny kiss, and listening to him talking about his wrestling you know instantly that he is completely authentic.
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Full body contact
Sonny is part of the AEW which stand for All Elite Wrestling. Formed in 2019, the AEW is a professional wrestling promotion that rivals the behemoth that is the WWE and airs a two-hour weekly show entitled AEW Dynamite on US channel TNT. Anyone who’s seen G.L.O.W. on Netflix will know the significance of wrestling on a national TV network, it’s big.
Some of Sonny Kiss’s outfits wouldn’t look out of place on RuPaul’s Drag Race and he certainly isn’t shy of living his truth. In interview, he’s shy and softly spoken, talking about how his wrestling persona isn’t a gimmick and he’s not trying to be something that he’s not. You only have to see him wrestle to see he’s certainly got the moves, Kiss himself saying ‘have an open mind and be ready!’.
In the hugely macho world of wrestling, you’d think that Kiss would automatically come across some homophobic abuse from across the board. You’d be right to an extent but this is where things get interesting. Whilst some of the fans have taken against his overtly effeminate behaviour, for the most part he has been embraced. In a sport that thrives on characterisation and elaborate costumes, someone like Sonny Kiss is long overdue and the other wrestlers defend him with all their might.
Sonny Kiss with now fiancé Killian McMurphy
Recently the wrestler Cody Rhodes took umbrage at a fan who was coming for Sonny Kiss on Twitter and the rest of the fans got behind him. It’s this kind of showmanship as an ally that brings LGBTQ people one step closer to proper equality. A quick look at some of the comments beneath his interview with *** is almost heartening in its lack of abusive homophobic vitriol. You get more anti- LGBT language on a national tabloid story frankly.
The wrestling community as well as the heavy metal/rock community have often been unsung heroes in the battle for LGBTQ equality and acceptance and Sonny Kiss is tapping into that in the most over way yet. In fact, he is now engaged to fellow AEW wrestler Killian McMurphy who takes red neck biker hotness to the next level.
In a world where you see injustices more often than not for LGBTQ people, it’s heartening to see that in the world of professional wrestling, things are moving a lot faster than people would expect.