wrestler Mike Parrow has come out as gay in a new interview.
Parrow, who is based in Orlando,
Florida, told his story to Gay Star News.
The 6'4” 300 pound wrestler came out
to friends, family and fellow wrestlers about four years ago.
Parrow told the outlet that he
attempted to suppress his sexuality.
“I've always known I'm gay. That was
never a question in my mind,” Parrow said. “But growing up, I
went to Catholic school my whole life. My mom's a Sunday school
teacher. I came from a small town in upstate New York. It didn't
have a flourishing gay community.”
“I tried to hide it. I played
football and did manly stuff. It wasn't because I was gay. Those
were the things I gravitated to – competitive stuff.”
Parrow said it was “easy” at first
to be in a relationship with a woman. “But the older I got, the
harder it got for me to have any kind of emotional relationship with
In his twenties, Parrow tried dating
men. “It was the worst experience of my life. Gay men can be the
meanest, cruelest people you've ever met in your life. I was 'fat,'
I was 'ugly,' I'm a 'closet case,' and at the time I was just looking
to understand what's going on,” he said, adding that the experience
pushed him “further back in the closet.”
The closet, Parrow said, turned him
into a lonely, depressed drunk, and he even contemplated suicide.
“I felt like nobody knew who I really
was. So I became very lonely. Very distant from my friends. I was
very angry. I was very rude and mean, and a lot of things would just
set me off,” he said.
Parrow said that he tried conversion
therapy, which he called “an absolute joke.”
His life turned around after he met his
future fiance Morgan and slowly started to come out to those closest
Parrow, who wears the number 49, said
that he was affected by last year's mass shooting at the Pulse
nightclub in Orlando. Forty-nine people died and dozens were injured
in the massacre.
“That's why I wear the 49. To honor
them and be myself. To remind me that you do need to tell people.
They do need to understand that not everybody's the same, that
everybody has a journey: You need to keep going forward,” he