Before going into this controversial topic, I wanted to talk personally for a second.
I was raised in a traditional family, but my family never hated on people that were different than us. Furthermore, I have been around homosexuals my entire life. I have been blessed to meet and become friends with many people that have been gay. I will say that I am not gay, but I certainly do not mind gay individuals. I even have friends and family members that are openly gay. This is going to be a topic that has many opinions, but please do not be ignorant and rude with your comments. For all of your comments on the article, please Tweet @JoshIsenberg4.
I have not had an opportunity to voice my opinion on Darren Young revealing to the world that he is a homesexual. I feel like this topic gained so much steam at the right time for a company that wants to expand their "Be A Star" Campaign from just plain bullying. WWE has had many opportunities to make this controversial topic come to light in previous years, so why do they make it public NOW?
According to gay bullying statistics, gay and lesbian teens are 2-3 times more likely to commit teen suicide than other youths. That is a scary number that should not be. Furthermore, 9 out of 10 LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual) teens have been reported of being bullied at school within the past year because of their orientation.
The WWE is a company that has had gay performers in the past. Chris Kanyon was one of them, as well as Orlando Jordan. The most notable one was Pat Patterson, who has been a key contributor to Vince McMahon for decades. None of these guys have been exposed on television as homosexuals, but I do think WWE plans on using this as a storyline for Young. They need to be extremely careful IF that is the plan.
When WWE went PG, it was more of a business decision than anything else. There was no chance that this company would be able to get sponsors like Subway, Sonic, and Foot Locker to spend millions of dollars on advertising when they were TV-14. Now, they have reached a new demographic and a wider audience that will watch their program. From a business standpoint, it is all about making money. When you make money, everyone wins. The company wins. The performers win. The fans will still win and still watch. The television ratings may be down, but I blame it more on the lack of competition in sports entertainment and the increase of television channels and options. There is so much more out there now that people have a choice to view. Will this make them money, exposing someone to bullying because of their sexual orientation? Is being a homosexual something that makes money? Good for business? WWE does not need this to be used as a storyline.
Darren Young is a character, one that revealed his life outside of WWE. There is no doubt that he will be used in "Be a Star" for the WWE, but I really do not want them to expose this on television in a storyline. Why? WWE is all about bullying. It is all about good versus evil and and there is always going to be a winner and a loser. Does WWE really want to build Young up, give him a title, and then have him lose it while exposing his sexuality? If they want to use his sexuality to their advantage, let him go to high schools and colleges around the world and show them that they can be successful no matter what their sexual orientation is.
I was extremely proud to see Darren Young come out and announce that is is gay. That takes more courage, in a heterosexual male dominated world, than any of us will ever know. Jason Collins is an NBA player who was the first active male athlete to come out. He is not in the prime of his career, as it looks like his age will force him out of the NBA. Young has plenty of time left in his career and is not looking back at his best days behind him. Is he going to be WWE Champion? No. Does he need to be? No. If they really want to stop bullying, or try to, then let Young speak. Let him talk to schools and kids around the world. When you put his real life situation on a fake television show, it devalues the level of importance. Even though casual fans can still wonder what is real and what is fake, 99 percent of what is on WWE is scripted. This is not something that should be scripted.
I long for the day when this is not a news story. Will it ever happen? Probably not, but at least people can begin to understand that some people need to live THEIR lives, not try and dictate how other people's lives. This is not a "game changer" because Darren Young is not a "John Cena," a guy who is viewed around the world as a "Superstar." He does not need to be that guy. If Darren Young helps or saves just one person's life, it will all be worth it.