Darren Young came out as gay earlier this week in an impromptu interview with a TMZ videographer. On Friday, the “WWE Superstar” followed up on his unexpected revelation by appearing on the Today show. Young told Matt Lauer that he was not only glad to finally step forward, but that he was also in love and a lucky man to be a part of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc, where he has received much peer support.
“I’ve been supressing these feelings for so long in my life that — you know, I’m going to be 30 on November 2, and I just need to be happy. To the day I’m six-feet under, I will always say, ‘I want to be happy.’ And I’m happy now.
“I was terrified [of being outed]. I think anybody in my shoes would feel the same way. But, you know, it took some guts…. [Support from the WWE has been] unbelievable! Very surprised.”
Young indicated that he had been inspired in part by basketball player Jason Collins of the Washington Wizards. Collins told Sports Illustrated in April that he was gay, possibly making him the first active, male player on a major sports team to come out. Young says Collins offered adviced on how to remain positive and strong through the public process. Young also said he expected a mixed reaction from WWE fans the next time he stepped into the ring, then added that his intention was to be a role model for young people who might also be struggling with their own situations.