Mike Parrow, an openly gay pro wrestler, competed at the NWA’s 70th anniversary show this weekend and entered the ring for his championship match wearing the LGBT rainbow pride flag.

Parrow was appreciative of all the support he received, tweeting: “Pro Wrestling is a series of little moments that create lasting memories These moments have the power to influence wrestling’s future!”

What’s cool is that the pride flag moment was tweeted out by the NWA and the commentators made note of it during the pay-per-view telecast. “Big Mike Parrow came out with the Pride flag as the commentary team talked about how proud he is to represent the LGBTQ community,” wrote one site.

Parrow came out publicly as gay last December, and in an article last month for Outsports, he wrote about how surprised he was by the impact of his coming out.

“I never realized how many LGBT fans had felt forgotten by the wrestling world.” he wrote. “They felt that they had no voice in wrestling and thought that the wrestling companies were basically going to give them same tired gay characters. But something changed and I’m an example.”

Many of those fans showed Parrow love on Twitter after the NWA event, saying such things as:

  • Thank you for repping the pride flag and making a difference in your sport and all sports to follow!!
  • So Proud Of You. Hoping to see you get more Opportunities. Just coming out with the Flag means so much. Powerful Statement
  • i appreciate you and your pride flag and your wrestling! you got a new fan!! ❤🏳️‍🌈
  • Watching a pro wrestling show from Nashville where openly gay wrestler @Parrow_ wore a rainbow flag to the ring and had the crowd solidly behind him. Things are really bad right now in a lot of ways, but things CAN get better. Doesn’t mean we don’t have to fight, but the fight isn’t hopeless.

Parrow is very open on social media about his relationship with his fiance, Morgan Cole, posting copious pictures (most of them shirtless) with hashtags like #boyfriend and #hubby. This helps normalizes same-sex relationships, especially when the two show affection.

Parrow did not win the world title (he lost in a four-way match) but he won something much more important the moment he walked out with the pride flag.