Jake Atlas has become the first wrestler to be signed to WWE and be openly gay at the time of signing.
Atlas whos real name is Kenny Marquez made a name for himself on the indie wrestling scene following his win of the 2017 Southern California Rookie of the Year Award.
While Marquez is not the first out wrestler in WWE history, (Darren Young became the first openly gay wrestler in WWE in 2013, after coming out in an interview with TMZ), he is the first to be out and proud during the signing process, giving many other LGBTI wrestling hopefuls inspiration to follow their dreams.
“I know right now that there a lot of kids looking at me, and the fact that they see Kenny Marquez with his background being here, I know it’s affecting them,” Marquez explained in his WWE tryout video.
During his WWE tryout video, Marquez also explained that he shared some “pretty personal information” with WWE boss Stephanie McMahon before going through the application process, “and I am grateful that I was able to tell her to her face that I am gay and I’m dreaming of being a WWE superstar at the same time.”
Marquez has named a wrestling move the LGBDDT in honour of the queer community and says that he hopes “people who are watching and saying, ‘wow, he’s there, and he’s fighting.’ – That’s what keeps me going.”
“I’m not ‘a gay wrestler’. I’m a wrestler,” he concludes.