As we celebrate Pride Month, there are so many men and women who have found their inner strength to come out to those closest to them. For Darren Young, he admits that he was nervous to come out to his WWE peers. When he did, he set himself up towards becoming a trailblazer for other wrestlers in the LGBTQ+ community. When reflecting on his story, he never imagined all the love and support he would receive, including from legendary musicians like Cher.
“Well, when I came out publicly in WWE, I didn’t think my story was a big deal, until of all people the icon Cher reached out to me,” Young noted in his interview on WWE’s The Bump. “She DM’ed me. She said because of my story, one of her friends, who’s a big wrestling fan, came out to his family. It was that moment that I realized that my story was a big deal. You know, I’m not the first, and I’m not the last, but I am a trailblazer. I’m someone who has made it easier for athletes and wrestling fans to come out and be their true selves. I won’t stop fighting until I’m six feet under.
Young continued, “You have guys like Jake Atlas, who I’m a huge fan of. I was probably one of the number one guys who was rooting for him to get signed. Now, he’s making million-dollar moves in WWE. I’m so proud of him and Sonya Deville. She’s a girl who’s representing like no other. I say none of us are as strong as all of us, and as an athlete, we need more representation. I want people to look at me on their screen or on my social media and say, ‘If he can do it, so can I.'”
When The Nexus made their dominate debut in 2010, Young and the others in the stable, never thought that they would make such a big impression in WWE. However, they surprised the WWE Universe, and their peers, after their arrival. Though it was a short-lived group, Young admits that his time in Nexus is something that he’ll cherish forever.
“I mean, I remember it like it was yesterday. Miami, Florida was where we debuted. We didn’t know what was going to happen,” Young recalled. “We were fearful of the unknown. We knew that we had to deliver. My job was to take out Tony Chimel. I laid him out as hard as I could, but it’s a moment that I’ll never, ever, ever forget. It’s been like 10 years since we caused havoc in WWE.”
The former tag team champion spoke on COVID-19, and how much the pandemic affected his career potential. Young reminisced on what could have been.
“Earlier this year, I was called back by WWE to be part of WrestleMania and the Axxess. Who knows, The Nexus could’ve reunited in WWE. But with the pandemic, everything was canceled. I was devastated, but I’m very proud of my moments with WWE and Nexus. I was part of a group. I was part of a tag team, The Prime Time Players. I did the ‘Make Darren Young Great Again’ [gimmick] with Bob Backlund. So, all [of] my memories in WWE, I’ll always cherish.
Young surprised The Bump panel when he told them that he remains in contact with each Nexus member, to this day. In fact, he revealed that they are all part of a group text chat.
“I still stay in contact with all the members of Nexus,” Young informed. “Ten years later, we’re in a text thread with each other. Heath Slater, I just had him on my podcast. I never laughed so hard just reflecting and going back in time. ‘We’re not little kids anymore,’ he said, ‘We’re veterans now.'”
You can view Darren Young’s full interview here.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE’s The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.