Christopher Saynt, Scotland’s first openly gay wrestler, shared what it’s like being the first openly gay wrestler in the Scottish wrestling scene in a recent Herald Scotland op-ed piece.
Saynt says he works full-time as a clerical assistant in a primary school and says he has wrestled in over 100 matches since the start of his career three and a half years ago. “Sometimes I’ll do two, or even three [matches] in a week. It’s good to keep at it, but fighting that often can wear you out,” he explained.
Saynt also discussed his coming out video (below) and the positive feedback he received from fellow wrestles and complete strangers.
This made me Scotland’s first openly gay wrestler. Of my friends in wrestling, some knew before the video – the ones that I wanted to know.
After I told Damian O’Connor, the guy who trained me, he said he had more or less known for a year and a half.
I also had a lot of support from Glen Dunbar, who has been a mentor to me. I was nervous about the video, but Damian sat me down and talked through it with me.
Afterwards, I got a few messages, most of them very positive. Not just from wrestlers, but from people I didn’t know, all around the country and places I’d never been to.
I’ve not come across any negative views in wrestling. I doubt anyone in wrestling would take a negative view, because it’s such an open sport.
It invites everyone from all walks of life. A lot of my friends outside of wrestling were surprised – which surprised me.
If you look at the sport I do, we run around in sparkly underwear – it was bound to be one of us!
A few have taken it negatively, but that’s their choice. Some people said I did the video for publicity. But I’m not just claiming to be the first openly gay wrestler in Scotland – I have looked into it and I am.
It upsets me that I’m the first, when you think that it’s 2014. When will there be an openly gay professional footballer?
I hope it’s this year. I’d like to think the world has its eyes open enough that, when it happens, people will think: “Right, he’s gay. Who cares?”
The Scottish Wrestling Alliance’s 10th anniversary show is at Motherwell Concert Hall today.