Bruce Prichard Says Meeting WWE HOFer Made Him Overcome His Homophobia

Pat Patterson is widely regarded as one of the greatest influences on the modern WWE product, credited for innovating the Royal Rumble concept and serving as Vince McMahon's right-hand man. But after coming out as gay in the '70s, Patterson also fought bigotry and ignorance both within and outside of wrestling — constantly threatened with deportation from the US to Canada as a result. Bruce Prichard has admitted during his "Something to Wrestle With" podcast that he had been ignorant of homosexuality prior to meeting Patterson. 


"I was homophobic until I met Pat Patterson," he recalled. "It was coming from a place of fear and ignorance on my part. Never being educated, never knowing anyone to know that, 'Well, wait a minute. They're just people, they have a different preference than you. Some like Coke, some like Pepsi.' When it gets down to it, that's kind of what it is, guys."

Prichard admitted Patterson never let his battles get in the way of wrestling, remarking how he had stood up to AWA founder Roy Shire after he had made it clear he wouldn't work with homosexuals. "Pat was proactive about it and went to Roy and says, 'You're gonna hear a lot of things about me, I'm gonna tell you straight up, I'm gay. I have a friend of mine [Louie Dondero] that lives with me ... If you have a problem with that, I'll leave tonight.' Pat and Louie helped me with that so much," Prichard said. "They made everything so normal."


Patterson's homosexuality wasn't recognized by WWE publicly until 2014. During the series finale of "WWE Legend's House," Patterson described his relationship with Dondero lasting 40 years until his death in 1998. Patterson was recognized with a WWE Hall of Fame induction in 1996 and worked continuously for the company as a backstage official from 2005 until his own death in 2020.