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article imageWrestler Pat Patterson comes out as gay, breaks 50-year silence

By Mathew Wace Peck     Jun 16, 2014 in Sports
After spending more than 50 years in the closet, Pat Patterson — the American wrestler and six-times United States Champion — has come out as gay.
A member of the WWE Hall of Fame, Patterson spoke about his life on the WWE reality-TV show Legends’ House.
Now 73, he began wrestling in his 20s and achieved his six-times-champion status before joining the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.), which, at the time, was the WWWF (World Wide Wrestling Federation).
On Legends’ House, Patterson was talking about his wrestling career. “From where I come from, I had nothing — no family, no money — and I ended up [working] with [wrestling promotor] Vince [McMahon],” Pink News reports him as saying. “To me, that was the biggest achievement of my life.”
“But there’s more to that,” he continued. “Sitting here tonight, I’m going to say something I would never want to say. For once in my life, I’m going to be me. I survived all this being gay. I lived with that for 50-some years.”
Patterson then went on to reveal that he’d been in a long-term relationship with another man. “I had a friend with me for 40 years,” he said, “and I lost him because he had a heart attack, and I ended up alone. But I survived.”
Patterson, who also holds the distinction of being the first-ever Intercontinental Wrestling Champion, said he was proud of his wrestling achievements but that he now wanted to live openly and happily. “It’s tough guys, it was tough,” he told Legends’ House. “I gave my life to the business, I don’t regret nothing, [but] for the rest of my life, I want to be happy.”
In April, another WWF wrestler, Stone Cold Steve Austin, backed same-sex marriage, revealing that he had a number of friends who were gay.
As reported by Digital Journal, Austin — who is also the presenter of truTV’s reality-TV competition Redneck Islandsaid in his refreshingly forthright way, “I don’t give a shit if two guys, two gals, guy-gal, whatever it is, I believe that any human being in America, or any human being in the goddamn world, that wants to be married […] if it’s the same-sex, more power to them.”
Pat Patterson — born Pierre Clermont in 1941 — made his wrestling debut in 1958; known then as “Pretty Boy” Pat Patterson. In his early years, as well as wrestling on his own, he also took part in tag-team wrestling — his most famous partner being Ray Stevens — and, in San Francisco, became the ten-time tag-team champion.
Patterson became the first-ever Intercontinental Champion in 1979 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996.
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