Pro wrestler Anthony Bowens and his boyfriend Michael Pavano, a personal trainer, each came out as LGBT a year ago and the feedback their stories and videos received was overwhelmingly positive. But there were enough negative comments that they have decided to speak out against online bullying.
“Anthony and I got out start on YouTube fairly recently and we received so much positivity and so much love, which we are grateful for,” Pavano says in a video the two released to combat online bullying. “But what comes with that is also a lot of negativity. We have dealt with a fair amount of hate on our videos.”
This same bullying and negatively does not occur to them in real life, the men say.
“In regards to Michael and I, 100% of the negative homophobic and racial slurs that we receive are online,” Bowens said. “You know how many occur to us directly in person? Zero.”
Bowens and Pavano recorded the video in support of Monica Lewinsky’s #ClickWithCompassion Anti-Bullying campaign, which deals with cyberbullying and how people will say things online they would never say in person. While many people can shrug off the hate, there are others for whom such bullying are destructive and have led to suicides.
Bowens and Pavano have a YouTube channel filled with goofy, fun and sweet videos, the kind you would least expect to elicit hateful comments. Unfortunately, YouTube is notorious for how bad its comments often are, something Outsports also knows very well.