WWE referee Shawn Bennett celebrated “National Coming Out Day” on Monday by announcing that he is gay.
Bennett, who has been with WWE since April 2013, made posts on Twitter and Instagram to announce that he is gay. He wrote about how he hid his sexuality for years, and was even in a longterm relationship with a woman. Bennett previously came out to friends and family in his late 20s, and that’s when he stopped hiding it, but now he is going public with coming out.
You can read Bennett’s full Instagram post below, which received congratulatory responses from numerous wrestling stars, including Ivar, Chelsea Green, WWE NXT North American Champion Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Carmella, Impact Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo, Nia Jax, Sasha Banks, Cash Wheeler, Apollo Crews, Eddie Kingston, Adam Pearce, Bayley, Karl Anderson, Steve Corino, Dana Brooke, Tyson Kidd, Kayla Braxton, Brian Myers, Natalya, Mustafa Ali, Ricochet, and Corey Graves, among many others.
You can see Bennett’s full tweet below, along with tweet replies from his mother Susan, TJP, The Blue Meanie, Mia Yim, WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Nikki A.S.H., Sonny Kiss, Renee Paquette, Kevin Patrick, and Anthony Bowens, among others.
Happy National Coming Out Day!
Oh yea, I’m gay.
There’s the answer to the question I get asked most on social media.
This should come as little surprise to those that know me, but I’ve never actually said it publicly before.
To put my life in perspective, I started refereeing at age 14. I did my best to suppress any and all homosexual thoughts before and after that for a long time. I once long term dated a woman and for a while, tried to live my life that way. I didn’t come to my own full realization about myself until early 20s. That’s when I knew it was the way of life that would make me happy. As cliche as it sounds, I feel I was born this way.
I came out to friends and family in my late twenties. That’s when I stopped hiding it, but would never put myself out there in anyway. People that knew, knew. People that asked, I would be truthful with. There are still important people in my life that I have never literally told.
I spent my first 10 years involved in pro wrestling terrified of my own sexuality. I was convinced that I would never be successful if people knew I was gay. Those were fears that I made up in my head.
Once I got to WWE, I would continue to keep to myself as much as possible. When discussing relationships around people that were not in my close circle, I would talk in a way that would hide the sex of whoever I was talking about. I would even pretend to be single when I wasn’t, just to avoid talking about my past partner.
I’ve lived my dream multiple times over since then and I feel more strongly about sharing myself with everyone now more than ever. The fact that I haven’t been public meant that I was still hiding behind a mask. This post takes a ton of weight off of my shoulders. This post crumbles the wall that I’ve had up for so long and removes the mask.
I’m proud of who I am, what I’ve accomplished, where my life is headed, and my way of life. Like everyone else, at the end of the day I just want to be happy, to give and receive love, both to myself and others.
Representation is important.
Always face your fears.
Always chase your dreams.
Above all, always be yourself.
It’s worth it.
Love you homie
— Mustafa Ali / Adeel Alam (@AliWWE) October 11, 2021
Love you, Benny!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
— The Most Beautiful Woman in all of WWE (@CarmellaWWE) October 11, 2021
— Anthony Bowens (@Bowens_Official) October 11, 2021
Absolute legend ♥️
— Kevin Patrick Egan (@kev_egan) October 11, 2021
— Renee Paquette (@ReneePaquette) October 11, 2021
I love you my brother.
— Adam Pearce (@ScrapDaddyAP) October 11, 2021