Pro wrestler Anthony Bowens is coverboy for Attitude magazine and tackles stigma around bisexuality
In Attitude’s new Body issue, the 27-year-old athlete/model talks about his journey from a bullied child to pro-wrestling stardom under the name ‘Vigilante.’
Anthony says he turned to pro-wrestling to overcome his crippling shyness, but he feared coming out as bisexual would become his toughest battle.
“I think it was somewhere in the middle of high school”, he recalls. “I was sitting at a table and a couple were walking down the street and I was like ‘Wow that girl’s beautiful.’
“Then I noticed that I was also looking to see who she was holding hands with and I was like ‘That guy’s kind of attractive too…'”
However, by coming out as bisexual Anthony faced stigma from both the gay and straight community.
“I didn’t know that there was this big — I wouldn’t say ‘war’ — but discrepancy. Which wasn’t the point of me coming out” he says.
“If I was with a woman — or anybody was with a woman — and they married her, and they were with her for the rest of their lives, that doesn’t change the fact that they’re still stimulated by men.
“That doesn’t make you straight, you’re still bi.”
Anthony says he doesn’t care what label people put on him though:
“If you were to call me gay I’d be like ‘OK’. I’m not going to get pissy over it, you can call me what you like.”
Anthony had no plans on coming out of the closet when he joined his boyfriend in a video on his YouTube channel, but that’s just what happened.
“It was this past fall and I was three months into a relationship with my boyfriend, Michael Pavano. Mike and I had uploaded a video to YouTube on his channel called ‘The Laughing Challenge,’ where he described me as his boyfriend,” he writes on OutSports.
“The video was a blast to do, but I worried that someone from the wrestling world would stumble across it and learn my secret. I decided to let it be posted anyway.”
“My job description is to entertain fans through body language, story lines featuring over-the-top characters and, well, grappling other men dressed in a similar way.”
“Understandably, being openly bisexual could be perceived as a problem. It’s what kept me closeted to all but a few from the time I started wrestling as a pro five years ago. It took a Youtube video to make me see that coming out was not going to be the problem I thought it would be.”
He didn’t think much about until a couple of weeks later when he received a text from a wrestling buddy that made his stomach drop.
“Bro, why didn’t you tell me?” the text said.
“Much to my great relief, he told me he didn’t care and that I was one of his best friends in the business,” Bowens writes.
Encouraged by the positive response, Bowens decided to announce his sexuality to the World on Facebook:
“After hitting send, I immediately turned off my phone. I didn’t want to think about what people would write. After about 30 minutes I told Mike to check his phone,” Bowens writes. “He had the biggest smile on his face, our friends in the room cheered, and I made the decision to turn on my phone. The response was overwhelming positive.”
“I can’t even begin to tell you how many people I’ve spoken to over the years who are hiding and suppressing themselves out of fear of being judged. If I can help inspire at least one person to fight past their struggles through my journey or inspire at least one person to live their dreams, it’s all worth it for me. The journey and the fight is just beginning!”
After his announcementmen on Facebook, Bowens has been sharing tons of cute posts of him and his boyfriend. And we say: Keep them coming. You’re an inspiration!
About Anthony Bowens
Anthony Bowens was born in Nutley, New Jersey, USA on 12/18/1990.
What is he famous for?
Anthony Bowens is an athlete and a model. He is best known for being a pro-wrestler and for accidently “coming out” in a goofy video on his boyfriend Mike’s YouTube channel. His wrestling buddies discovered the video, prompting Anthony to come out on Facebook. Fortunately, the reaction from fans and his wrestling collegues was positive.
Is Anthony Bowens gay?
Anthony Bowens came out as bisexual in January, 2017. He posted this message on Facebook: “I’m not going to make this a long winded post but I think it’s time. Just wanted to let everyone know im Bisexual. I look forward to changing perceptions and breaking stereotypes as I continue on my journey. I have zero patience for negativity so if this bothers you please delete me. Thanks!”
Anthony Bowens’s Social Media accounts
Related: Born to Be Bisexual?