TNA embraces bisexual wrestler Orlando Jordan

Jordan talks about his proud sexuality and his hope to help troubled teenagers

By Ross Forman

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Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling is running full speed ahead with Orlando Jordan, the real-life bisexual who now showcases his sexual orientation and eccentric persona every Monday night in front millions on Spike TV (8-10 p.m. ET).

TNA unveiled a marketing campaign recently to promote its move of “TNA iMPACT!” to Mondays at 8 p.m. with a witty, David Letterman-esq “Top 8 reasons to watch TNA iMPACT! at 8.”

The No. 1 reason – as presented by an Al Roker look-alike, named Mo Roker – is: “TNA is the professional wrestling alternative … Have ya seen Orlando Jordan?!” The online marketing video then cuts to Jordan from March 26, when he formally came out on TV as bisexual.

Jordan, 35, is the first openly bisexual wrestler for a major U.S.-based professional wrestling promotion. He unveiled his in-ring bi persona March 29, alongside other TNA Wrestling superstars such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Kurt Angle, Sting, Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett and others.

Jordan appeared live on “TNA iMPACT!” on April 5, setting his crosshairs on TNA Global Champion Rob Terry – but also showed that nothing conventional is ever expected from this muscled mat star. He sported a Mardi Gras face mask and sprayed white chocolate all over his chest and then, naturally for this character, used it as a dip for strawberries that he ate.

Jordan’s male and female valets did not appear with him on “TNA iMPACT” on April 5, though both were backstage. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won’t accompany him to the ring, Jordan said.

“There’s a very small percent of people who empower society on a global basis. Maybe one percent. If everyone was a pioneer, it’d make things a lot easier. But that’s not the case. And there’s a price that comes with being a pioneer, but I would not expect anything less because that’s who I am,” said Jordan, a former collegiate All-American wrestler who lives in Miami and has been wrestling professionally since 1999.

Jordan attended Hermitage High School in Richmond, Va., where he was a two-sport standout (football and wrestling). He then went wrestled at Boise State University.

“I’m proud of a lot of things in my life, including my sexuality,” said Jordan, who battled autism as a child, was an amateur boxer and was a member of the U.S. Forest Service.

“My character in TNA is pretty eccentric. But, in pro wrestling, the first priority is to be on top of the sport. Behind the smoke and mirrors of the character’s antics [and] his flamboyancy is a drive to be the best in the business. That’s my goal.”

Jordan knows the character likely will have critics – from fans and other wrestlers. But he’s not worried. “I’ll worry when they stop talking about me or the character,” he said.

Jordan is proud and optimistic that his TNA character is a positive step forward for the LGBT community and beyond.

“I really hope this character helps troubled teens, be it [those struggling] because of their race or their sexuality,” Jordan said. “If this character makes life even just a little bit easier for someone else, then I’ll be really happy.”

Jordan said he never had a formal ‘coming out.’ His close friends have always known he is bisexual, he said. And if anyone asked, he always answered honestly.

“I have always felt I am who I am, and have always stood by that. I don’t ever worry what others think about me,” he said.

Pro wrestling has a long history of stereotypical gay characters: flamboyant and over-the-top. All, though, have been portrayed by straight wrestlers.

“I’m flamboyant in my [wrestling] performance, but that’s just my swagger, just how I am. I aim to entertain; that’s who and how I am,” Jordan said.

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