Fred Rosser III better known for his time in WWE as Darren Young. During his tenure in the WWE, he was partnered with Titus O’ Neil better known as the Prime Time Players. Young showed his abilities when given chances in WWE, even if WWE didn’t employ him to his full ability. In an interview with TMZ on August 15th, 2013, where he came out publicly as openly gay.
During the interview he was asked whether a gay wrestler could succeed in WWE to which he would reply saying, “Absolutely. Look at me. I’m a WWE superstar and to be honest with you, I’ll tell you right now, I’m gay. He is also the first and only WWE superstar to come out publicly while still being signed to the company. Young has also been publicly open with how the WWE superstars were to him when he worked for the company. “When I came out, people had reached out to me on social media. There was one who told me her friend, a big wrestling fan, came out to their family. It was that moment I realized my story was a big deal,” he said.
His fellow wrestlers welcomed him with open arms, too. “Guys like Randy Orton, Big Show, Mark Henry, Sheamus, Titus O’Neil, they made it a lot easier to walk into the locker room,” he continues. “I always say coming out also greatly improved my performance as an athlete and a person. Instead of worrying about what people thought of me or what they were saying, I was able to fully own who I am and focus my energy on my wrestling and my advocacy work. I say my fight is much bigger than any ring.” Young also stated in an interview to TV insider about his Block the Hate Campaign movement.
Diversity is America’s superpower. All I’ve ever wanted to do is make it better than what it was before for the LGBTQ+ people in wrestling and the world beyond. I wanted to make it better for everyone. The “Block the Hate” movement started with me being the first openly gay WWE superstar. It’s more than just LGBTQ+. On top of wrestling, I talk to kids all over the world whether they are in fifth grade or in college.
I do videos, especially during this pandemic, about the importance of speaking up and speaking out when you see someone being bullied. Suicide is something not really talked about. I’ve met several fans who contacted me on social media and told me they wanted to commit suicide. Now I always say I’m not a doctor or a psychiatrist, but I am a friend. I’ve got to be that support system for them, especially if they don’t have anyone in their family that supports them”.
I decided to feature Darren during pride month because, as a child watching WWE, I was branded homosexual because I would watch the ladies, and I was not comfortable coming out publicly. Darren being the first WWE wrestler to come out and people being so accepting of it made me feel like he is a role model.