Anthony Bowens, one of the stars of All Elite Wrestling in America opened up to TMZ Sport about the homophobic abuse he has copped from fans of the sport and viewers of his and his boyfriend’s YouTube channel.
Warning: This story has details of homophobic conduct and use of gay slurs that might be distressing to some readers. For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.
The most recent incident was when Bowens was completing an eight-man tag match which was being broadcast on AEW Dynamite, a professional wrestling program.
This is why I posted that photo the other day. Stuff like this unfortunately still exists. Not phased, I’ll just keep fighting against stuff like this til the day I die. 🌈 https://t.co/OI29dCeNU2
— Anthony Bowens (@Bowens_Official) December 9, 2021
Homophobic Behaviour Not The Norm
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Bowens was also keen to point out that this was not the norm when it came to the fans of All Elite Wrestling. “Unfortunately, that kind of stuff comes with the territory, being out LGTBQ athlete. This is actually the first time I’ve audibly heard something like that during a performance or television. It’s not indicative of the AEW fans at all because any interaction I’ve had with them since starting the company has all been positive. It’s the first time it’s happened in that sense,” he said in the interview.
“There’s always one person who oversteps the line and this time it was picked up on camera and I’m kind of glad it was because it amplifies the message that we still have work to do but it also shows there is so much positivity out there from the response, which as awesome to see.”
Most fans called out the grub’s behaviour on the post and offered words of support and encouragement for Bowens, encouraging him to keep on fighting for acceptance and visibility for the LGBTQI community.
Anthony Bowens And Michael Pavano Receive Hate Messages
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Bowens and his partner, YouTube star Michael Pavano started a joint YouTube channel which features them having fun together, including skits and as you can imagine, they have received some, shall we say, not so constructive criticism in the comments section.
“I have really thick skin and I’m kind of used to it from my boyfriend Michael and I, we have our own YouTube channel and when we first started it, the comments were brutal. I can’t even repeat them. We’re kind of used to it.”
Standing Up To Hate
This dude being so distraught is giving me life pic.twitter.com/7VmYH8TSj9
— Luis. (@LewisTowers) December 5, 2021
Anthony Bowens also made waves a couple of weeks ago when he posted a picture on the socials of him and Pavano sharing a kiss in front of a crowd of Trump supporters and good ole loving Christian folks protesting “homo marriage” and “homos” in general, apparently?
Bowens and Pavano were having none of it, bravely puckering up for a smooch while horrified homophobes looked on, though feedback on the social media post of the kiss seemed generally positive as well!
If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.
For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.