Professional wrestler Mike Parrow is the latest gay athlete to come out publicly. He shared his truth in a powerful, vulnerable article on Gay Star News this week, just in time to close out 2017 with his new-found freedom.

One of the really interesting elements of his public coming out — and frankly a sad part of that journey — is the role that both masculinity and femininity have played in his life. He talks openly about being shamed by people in the LGBT community for being, among other things: masculine, questioning and “fat” (for the record, he’s not fat — he’s muscular).

His story resonated with me. When I came out as gay in the late Nineties, I remember people dismissively labeling me as “butch” just because I liked football, as though I was somehow less gay or hated that I was gay. It was an odd dynamic to me then that I thought had subsided in our community. Apparently some gay men continue to feel the need to shame other gay men who are powerful and athletic. That’s pretty sad.

From the wrestling world, Parrow has received support since coming out. His fellow LGBT professional wrestler, Anthony Bowens, was praiseworthy.

Others who aren’t LGBT have also shared their support.

We at Outsports are so proud of Parrow for taking the leap, and we stand ready to support him no matter what’s next for him.

Be sure to read the full interview with Gay Star News.

You can find Mike Parrow on Twitter @Parrow_, or on Instagram @Parrow49.