Wrestling fans need to get over their transphobia Submitted by Going Broadway on 02/15/2019 at 11:51 AM
Last week during All Elite Wrestling's conference in Las Vegas, it was revealed that none other than Kenny Omega signed with the company, cementing a spot in a company that could be legitimate competition to the WWE.
However, while AEW CBO Brandi Rhodes never mentioned it by label, the first transgender wrestler also signed a contract with AEW in Nyla Rose.
Unfortunately, this sparked an outcry of defensive and immature wrestling fans on social media to the extent where Rhodes released a statement on equality in regards to Rose's signing. In 2019 this shouldn't even have had to happen in the first place.
We indulge in a sport that's not really a sport, where mostly men in tights lather themselves in oil and pretend-grapple with each other. This also involves the heavy use of gymnastics, where one athlete will literally jump onto another. This, of course, after making some sort of self-absorbed grand entrance, accompanied by theme music, pyrotechnics, and in some cases, an outfit or robe.
These well-oiled men (and women) act as if they're angry with each other in efforts to continue the facade of pretend-grappling, mostly in the vain of bad acting and scripts barely suited for a B-movie.
Yet, here we are, some of the worst wrestling fans, judging someone for simply being transgender.
Let me break it down for dummies what being transgender actually means, because many simply and narrow-mindedly pigeon-hole it as "dude who looks like a lady" only to point and laugh. Remember, as humans, what separates between being a man or a woman is one chromosome. Sex is simply what we're born as, and defines our hormones and reproductive organs. Gender is who we identify as on the social spectrum.
As "men" many of us are supposed to dismiss pretend-grappling, watch UFC instead, get in fights of our own, and put our efforts into "manly" things like trucks, tools, stale beer, and 'Murica. However, I'll bet many of us don't even remotely fit that social mold of what a "man" is supposed to be. (This also goes for women)
So why are some wrestling fans not accepting of a person who simply doesn't want to fit that mold? (Especially since social norms are incredibly stupid and patriarchal)
This is really no different from a wrestler wanting a gimmick change.
John Cena looked impressive, but wasn't getting over as "The Prototype" (the Terminator with a bad haircut) in OVW and as simply "John Cena" on the main roster. (Watch his debut match against Kurt Angle) Eventually, Cena (and management), decided that he should become a rapper -- a complete 180.
Transgenders are one of the most marginalized people in the world, who go through years of bullying, nonacceptance, ridicule, and often times expensive hormone therapy -- all to simply fit the gimmick that they truly want.
Note: This is a costly gimmick change for life. This is a very small example.
Professional wrestling is something enjoyed by millions, but still seen as something mostly "nerds" do. Even my board gaming hobbyists think wrestling is a bit nerdy.
Instead of demeaning a person like Nyla Rose for being transgender, let's applaud her for not only being brave enough to put herself out there among ridicule, but accept her into a community that should treat everyone as equals. Wrestling is an escape for many, and if we start to draw lines in the sand of who can and can't play with us, it turns said community toxic.
Live and let live. It's really not that hard to let others be who they want without ridicule.