Anthony Bowens Didn't Like How WWE Handled Star's Coming Out

It was in August 2012 when Fred Rosser, then working in WWE as Darren Young, became the first wrestler signed to WWE to publicly come out as gay. It was a monumental moment for many, and one many LGBTQ+ wrestling fans, and potential wrestlers, watched with great interest, including current AEW star Anthony Bowens.

In an appearance on "Insight with Chris Van Vliet," Bowens talked about Rosser's coming out moment.

"I wasn't in wrestling then, but I did keep an eye on it to see what the response would be because you didn't know," Bowens said. "It was a very scary time when it comes to thinking about what you want to do with your life, and then you're harboring this heavy secret that you feel like is absolutely going to destroy your life. So you definitely keep tabs on what's going on. There weren't many people out there that I could relate to. I didn't have that kind of representation that I could relate to, and Fred was one of those people for a while."

Rosser's Impact On Bowens' Career

Bowens admitted that WWE's handling of Rosser's situation led to him having serious doubts about both coming out, and pursuing a wrestling career as an openly gay man.

"I don't think the company handled it quite well, in my opinion, and that didn't give me any kind of hope that, 'Hey, here's this guy. He came out, he took this brave step, and now he's super successful in the company.' It just kind of felt like they didn't do anything with him. I felt horrible for him, and also for me, it was like, 'Is this what I have to look forward to if I get into wrestling and decide to pursue my dream.' And then I did come out. But I thank him for taking that step because it was probably very, very hard to do."

As many who watch "AEW Dynamite" and "Rampage" would note, Bowens has managed to have the career he's wanted while being out and proud and is currently one-half of the AEW World Tag Team Champions alongside Max Caster.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Insight with Chris Van Vliet" and provide an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription