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AEW Star Anthony Bowens Explains How Coming Out Has Helped His Career

AEW superstar Anthony Bowens is one of the wrestlers who are openly LGBTQ in the current pro wrestling landscape, and he has discussed how coming out has helped him immensely as a wrestler.

The AEW superstar, during his recent interaction on "The Mark Hoke Show," said that coming out was freeing as he didn't feel the constant strain of being outed. He added how he has connected better with wrestlers and friends after coming out.

"When I came out I felt like all of those walls came crashing down and I was able to connect with people more. I was able to connect with my fellow wrestlers, and my friendships with them, and my other friends, in general, got stronger. I was able to connect with all different fans all over the world, other closeted athletes," said Anthony Bowens. "So it really was such a positive thing and a relief — a complete relief that I got to be myself, I didn't have to hide anymore, I didn't have to structure conversations a certain way and I could just ... I felt free and that's basically what it was. And I was able to really focus on being a good performer and figuring out who I was as a character, as opposed to figuring out a character and figuring out who I was as a person in actual life. It was just a ton of stress and I was so glad when it was over."

He revealed that he was "under pure anxiety" before coming out, claiming that he lived a double life. 

Anthony Bowens on the I'm Gay promo

Anthony Bowens, in his interview, also discussed the hilarious segment with Harley Cameron on "AEW Rampage" in 2023, when he informed her that he was gay, resulting in a "He's Gay" chant from the audience. 

"It's never been said before [the word gay] in a wrestling ring on national television and I'm not the type of ... My form of activism is, I go out and I am myself and I try to represent as authentically and positively as possible, I'm not really much in your face. But I always wanted to present it in a fun way 'cause a lot of times it ends up being presented in a very, very serious, emotional way. I wanted to present it in more of, you know, a happy-go-lucky [way]."

He recalled QT Marshall pitching the idea to him and said that he jumped at the idea straight away. Anthony Bowens added that he was pleased with how the segment turned out and was surprised by the reaction of the fans.

"I've been waiting to do something like this at the right time for a long time and I'm very, very, very happy with the result. I'm very happy that the crowd enjoyed it. I would have never in a million years expect them to erupt the way that they did."

The AEW superstar said he would've never envisaged that he would be accepted in the pro wrestling world when he was in high school, which made him even more pleased with the positive reaction the segment garnered.

Photo Credit: AEW

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