Effy has been at the forefront of promoting LGBTQ representation in professional wrestling, and he discussed the situation in a new interview with Fightful ahead of the 24-hour GCW Fight Forever stream that kicks off tonight. Effy will be hosting an event as part of the stream in Effy’s Big Gay Block. You can check out highlights from the discussion below:
On if LGBTQ representation is increasing at an accelerated rate: “Yeah, I think so. I’ve always been a believer that, and this is probably not the fairest way to put it, but everybody always says—because, here’s the thing. These promoters in the past, whatever, they’ve all had their own problems. But, if you are looking at wrestling as a purely capitalistic venture and you’re trying to sell tickets and trying to get people to stream, when you look at the 60s, 70s and 80s and the audiences were allowed to pay to go to wrestling shows and the audiences that were going to wrestling shows, that were selling the most tickets, they were of, probably, a little more of questionable belief and view system.
“Because of that things like racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, they sell more tickets. When you can make the black man dance in this time, a promoter knows it does that. When you put the little gay boy out there in a dress, a promoter know they want to yell out and cause ruckus. When you’re thinking of it in that aspect, they were just trying to make money, and it doesn’t forgive any of it and it never will. But, when you look now, what we have done as an LGBTQ community, I was talking with Billy Dixon about it this weekend, we have stepped to our side and said, ‘If no one’s going to do it, we’re going to force our way in and we’re going to do it for ourselves. We’re going to clear our own path.’”
On companies doing more LGBTQ content: “Now that that path is starting to clear, it’s apparent that a lot of companies are going to start gradually moving around. I always said the WWE didn’t do a lot more with the LGBTQ stuff wasn’t because they were against it. It’s really because they blew it with Billy & Chuck. They got way more negative backlash than they’re used to, and they love being in the press, but they never want it to be something bad. Instead of trying again and saying, ‘Maybe we should try again and say, ‘Hey, look, we messed up.[‘’] They were just scared to tip their toe back in the water ‘cause the first time they did it the water was cold. It’s not necessarily that they’re sitting around going, ‘We’ll never have a gay on this show.’ It’s them sitting around going, ‘We really don’t know how to do it and we’re scared to ask. ‘Cause the last time, twenty years ago, it didn’t work out so well.’
“So, now, when they see us able to succeed and seeing these ideas come to life, and seeing that spirit in the LGBTQ community that is punk and we don’t need you and we’re going to do our own thing, it’s becoming a little more exciting for them. It’s a little more attainable for them and they’re seeing that it actually makes money. Now, with the ball back in our court, I hope over the next few years, that not only are we featured prominently, but that it’s not really that much of a deal any more.”