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‘I’m proud to say I’m Scotland’s first openly gay wrestler’ — how coming out kick-started Christopher Saynt’s career in the ring

1 October 2018

At the same time he revealed his sexuality to his parents, John also shared how he was going to live his life with the wider world: as both himself and his alter ego, wrestling personality Christopher Saynt.

His bold decision to come out in a traditionally masculine sport, however, wasn’t a completely smooth process.

Coming out kickstarted my wrestling career

John is from Glasgow, and is proud to be Scotland’s first out gay amateur wrestler.

‘People need to know it’s okay to be who you are’

John received plenty of support from wrestlers and his family when he came out but, as he told BBC Three, some fans subjected him to weeks of hateful trolling.

It doesn’t matter what I do and who I lie down with – I’m still a wrestler

Messages like ‘wish you were dead’, ‘you shouldn’t be in wrestling’ and ‘your parents hate you’ all hurt John, but the worst, he explained, was ‘you’re a failure for who you are and what you do’ as he was really proud of what he was doing at the time.

“It just baffles me that some people haven’t managed to progress to ‘live and let live’.”

John said the more ‘flamboyant’ elements of wrestling – like glitter and spandex – could make one think the sport is “pretty gay”, but he maintained that it’s still a very masculine world.

That he earned the respect of his peers when he came out meant a lot to John, but he is most proud of the effect his action had on some of his fans.

“People would send me messages saying ‘I came out to my parents because of you’.”

Bringing drag into the wrestling scene

The confidence in being himself led John to invite his fiancée – drag queen Ann Phetamine – into the wrestling ring with him.

“It meant the world to her. A brief conversation in the living room led to us walking into the ring together, hand in hand, battering people!”

“As soon as I figured out who I was as a person, what was going to make me the happiest was the moment where I went, ‘I’m a gay man’ and I’ve not looked back.”

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The rugby team offering acceptance

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