John Cena Shares Stories Of Protecting His Gay Brother When They Were Kids

John Cena Shares Stories Of Protecting His Gay Brother When They Were Kids
Image: via John Cena's Official Facebook page

Professional-wrestler-turned-actor John Cena has shared stories of how he protected his gay older brother back when they were kids. 

The actor and ex-wrestling star grew up in a small Massachusetts town and recalled times where his older brother Steve faced hardships because of his sexual orientation.

During an episode of the Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard podcast, the WWE champion discussed these experiences alongside hosts Dax Shepard and Monica Padman.

“Life was tough for my brother in high school — not only was he an introvert and interested in computers, he’s also gay,” Cena said. “And he’s also holding this secret that he can’t tell or talk to anybody about. I really feel for what it must have been like for him growing up”.

“Being gay in the ’80s in a small town in Massachusetts, man, that’s an uphill climb.”

Cena recounted instances where he found himself in fights while defending his older brother, Steve, who was not out at the time. 

“I really feel for what it must have been like for him growing up. But I also inherited that chapter of his social constructs.“, he said.

“And, man, it got me to learn how to lose a few fights”.

High School Struggles and Family Support

Cena said that Steve – in addition to being closeted – didn’t fit the mould of the ‘cool kid’. He lovingly referring to his big brother as a “true nerd”.

He added that he faced bullying during his upbringing, due to his closeness to Steve, his fashion choices, or his musical preferences. 

Despite the challenges, Cena emphasised the strong bond among his four brothers, asserting that they found all the companionship they needed in each other while growing up in their rural community.

Even though he was younger, the “Barbie” star felt a strong protective instinct toward Steve. 

“That sort of behaviour started at like 10 years old for me,” Cena said. “So I don’t think I understood what was going on. Kids are harsh and they formed cliques real fast, and we always just hung out with each other.”

Cena admitted that he often placed himself in harm’s way to protect his brothers, resulting in almost daily altercations when he was around 12 or 13 years old.

“Every day, man, I got my ass kicked — or at the very least it was a strong nudge, so I’d go tumbling down the hill again,” Cena said. “Yes, I never fought back, but I never acquiesced.”

John Cena’s Support for the LGBTQ+ Community 

Cena has been a long-time advocate for the LGBTQ community. 

In 2013, when asked by a TMZ reporter about WWE star Darren Young coming out as the first openly gay wrestler in the league, Cena expressed his support.

“My oldest brother is openly gay and coming from a family of five boys, that’s extremely tough to admit that and he’s openly accepted by our family,” he explained. 

“I know Darren personally, Darren’s a great guy, that’s a very bold move for him and congratulations to him for actually doing it.”

TMZ attempted to provoke Cena by asking if his interactions with Young would change and how he would feel about encountering an openly gay man in the locker room. 

However, Cena dismissed any insinuations, strongly affirming: “Not at all”.

“Darren Young is a consummate professional, I’m actually proud of him for (coming out).”

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