As we get closer to the NYWC event “A Matter of Pride” we will be taking a look at the competitors taking part in the event. Today we have a statement from Sonny Kiss.
Professional wrestling is definitely something I take PRIDE in. It’s something that I’ve always loved and admired growing up, but was always so hard to dream of as an openly gay adolescent. As much as I respect and admire all of the LGBT professional wrestlers that came before me, I don’t really wish to even utilize the term “gay wrestler” or “exotico”. I just feel it’s something that doesn’t even need to be addressed. It’s like, for example, the term “female rappers”. Why does it need to be acknowledged that they’re females? Can’t they just be rappers? Just like us… We aren’t “gay wrestlers”; we are just wrestlers (who happen to be gay). They are rappers (who are women).
Growing up, my inspirations always grew. I was just one of the kids who LOVED wrestling, period! So for me, I would always add an inspiration as the years have gone by. Rob Van Dam, Rey Mysterio, and Jeff Hardy were my primary influences on becoming a wrestler. Being a dancer, cheerleader, and gymnast, I always felt I could relate to their style of wrestling and just their athleticism was like no other. They were truly innovators and were exactly what I aspire to be. I also take influence from Kurt Angle, Dean Malenko, Sabu, Eddie Guerrero, Test, Team Xtreme, and Golden Era Women’s Wrestling (which was also a primary inspiration for me). I also admire Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Booker T, and the McMahon family for their entertaining qualities and mic skills.
A common misconception about events like “A MATTER OF PRIDE” is that it’s a celebration on BEING gay. This event isn’t a celebration to proclaim any type of power or superiority for gays, but a celebration of being EQUAL in wrestling. Celebrating the fact that we can sport our shoot personality and bring it to a stage where we’ve watched our idols and inspirations perform. In this day and age, we have the chance to do just that without getting booed out of the building or harmed (physically, mentally, verbally) as something that would happen 30, 40, and maybe even (Rick Cataldo could tell you) just 10 years ago.
This event is special because I feel it’s almost similar to other minorities. The LGBT community is definitely one that can use some UNITY. I feel people always try to paint a picture of what a lesbian or gay male is” SUPPOSED” to look like rather than embracing the uniqueness that everyone has. There’s all sorts of competition in the LGBT community, but in this event, I feel like everyone will finally feel like a winner. We’re all different in our ways. I, Rick Cataldo, Eddy McQueen, and Jamie Senegal represent all different kinds of men from our personalities to our body types to our star qualities. That’s what the rainbow represents for me. Being UNIQUE! You can compare the LGBT community to a Michael Jackson album or a Prince album: there’s pop, there’s rock, there’s hip hop, there’s R&B, there’s funk…. But it all sounds good. Even if one of the genres or sounds isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you can still respect the artist. Make sense?
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