Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hot Topics: Darren Young, First WWE Wrestler to "Come Out", Lack of Identity Among Black/African-Americans

Good day all! It is RARE that I write a blog twice in a week but this week has been quite busy for what is normally a dry August summer.

First, you all know I am a big wrestling fan so I have to congratulate World Wrestling Entertainment Superstar Darren Young for his courage to come out as a black gay man. Darren, as a professional wrestler, is the first to come out while on the active WWE roster. There are other gay/bisexual wrestlers who are out, but was not active in WWE at the time. They include: Orlando Jordan, Chris Kanyon, Pat Patterson and Jim Barnett. Orlando Jordan is a black man and sadly Chris Kanyon committed suicide a few years later after coming out, stating he never felt welcomed as a gay man in wrestling.

The aspect of a gay wrestler is always a touchy one, as wrestling is a very physical sport. It will be interesting to see how the WWE handles Darrens wrestling character, or if it will affect his character at all. He is currently half of the tag team known as "The Primetime Players," with his tag team partner Titus O'Neil. Many wrestling fans remember the storyline of Billy & Chuck, two wrestlers who portrayed gay the point of almost getting married on live TV. This is nothing new to WWE, as many fans believed wrestler Goldust, who would prance to the ring nearly in drag and would do certain moves in the ring that was questioning to say the least, was gay.

Darrens coming out may be the beginning of the atmosphere changing in professional wrestling, sports entertainment and another named added to the larger sports world of gay men and women.

Today I was at a community event and we ended up discussing politics, of course, and then came up a conversation about black identity. The person I was talking to says he see's himself as an African-American. Oddly enough, another friend of mine says he sees himself as a black American. Our people sadly lost our identity when we were hauled across the sea in slave ships. From that time to now, we at one point, garnered pride through fighting oppression and segregation. Negro spirituals, kept many of our ancestors at peace when hell was breaking loose around them. Then we come to 2013...pop culture seems to define our community. It seems to define what we wear, how we wear it, what we say and even how we live our lives. Our people, in general, lack a sense of history. There's a saying if one does not know your history, you are doomed to repeat it. This may very well be happening now, except we are oppressing ourselves.

1 comment:

Will said...

I think it’s good. Every time a public figure comes out, it can be inspiring to a young kid struggling with lgbt identity to help them feel proud of who they are. As for black identity, I hadn’t ever thought of it that way. You’re right. Black people really don’t have an identity, except for the one that each person chooses to embrace. If you’re a Caucasian, then you’re a Caucasian. But for people of color, that identity has continued to change over the years. Are you black, African American, afro American, colored, negro, etc? I know some older black people who still refer to being colored and negro. As times change, new terminology takes over. For someone who doesn’t have a strong resolve, it can tear down their esteem.