The world of professional wrestling is getting a queer makeover.
There are now hundreds of sexually and gender diverse wrestlers, from all around the globe, competing professionally.
Nyla Rose is a transwoman from Washington, D.C. She’s been wrestling professionally since 2012 and has won eight championships.
Walking in a winter wonderland 💋 pic.twitter.com/ZzAAfwy9v4
— Beyoncé Bloodlust (@NylaRoseBeast) January 10, 2022
Dark Sheik is an American-Iranian from Georgia in the USA. She’s been competing since 2010 and came out as male-to-female transgender in 2019.
In the wrestling ring, she sometimes appears in cosplay as Nintendo characters like Samus from Metroid Prime and Sheik from The Legend of Zelda.
Ask not for pity from DARK Sheik. There is none in her. pic.twitter.com/s3uRhuupmn
— Sweet Muslim Girl (@darksheikftf) March 24, 2021
Effy is a wrestler and Twitch streamer. He sports a scruffy appearance in ripped fishnet stockings and his signature pink-spiked jacket.
He also has his own podcast and is known for singing quintessentially camp songs on stage.
— EFFY (@EFFYlives) January 7, 2022
Sonny Kiss is from New Jersey and uses both feminine and masculine pronouns. He’s also a dancer, and his wrestling moves are influenced by his work as a choreographer.
This gender non-conforming wrestler favours crop tops and short-shorts over regular wrestling gear.
— Sonny Kiss (@SonnyKissXO) January 10, 2022
Jake Atlas is a gay wrestler from Los Angeles. He made his WWE debut in 2020 and has won two championships.
He was about to retire from wrestling in September last year, citing mental health issues but instead had a short break. He just returned to the ring where he injured his knee and is currently on the mend.
ALL SYSTEMS GO. ✨ https://t.co/mj60vOh633
— 𝗝𝗔𝗞𝗘 𝗔𝗧𝗟𝗔𝗦 (@JakeAtlasReal) January 5, 2022
Following COVID-related lockdowns and his hips and shoulders issues, Marshall decided to leave the competition.
“It was the morning after a show where I just went for a walk and about three minutes in, my entire left leg went numb, and I was like, “oh this is” – it was full of pins and needles – “this, this is not right,” he told Star Observer.
He would like to return to professional wrestling one day and compete in Japan, Europe and the US.
“It’s a never-say-never-say situation,” the former bodybuilder said. “I absolutely loved – just entertaining was always a second nature for me; I always like to make people smile – something I enjoy doing.
“I think if I was to go back to the professional wrestling, I would only be doing a handful of shows in Perth…it wouldn’t be what it was before, where it was every two weeks I was doing a show. I’m in my thirties now; I’ve gotta behave.”
He has turned to make a living from Twitch, a streaming service for video gamers, and continues to create content for his OnlyFans account.
— Dave Marshall 18+ (@davemarshall89) January 10, 2022
The 32-year-old was a competitor for the Southern Hemisphere Wrestling Alliance (SHWA), a professional wrestling organisation that’s inclusive and whose motto is “everyone’s welcome.”
He’s a three-time tag-team champion and won the heavyweight championship belt in Royal Rumble 2019.
Marshall defended his SHWA heavyweight championship before throwing in the towel in April 2021. “I’m undefeated. I was never pinned; never made to submit,” he said. He has a “clean record,” which he’s “very proud of.”
He added, “professional wrestling: it’s an art form. It’s something that you can express yourself in so many different ways.”
Marshall was ranked as 194 on Outsports’ list of the top 200 LGBTQIA+ pro wrestlers of 2021.