The first word that came to mind immediately after EFFY’s Big Gay Block capped off the morning of Game Changer Wrestling’s Fight Forever on Saturday was redemption. So many LGBTQ wrestlers took the ball EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch set in motion and put enough english on it to spin even more quality representation and peppered LGBTQ identites in more spaces than just the designated LGBTQ block.
Jordan Blade stood tall after opening For The Culture. Solo Darling toppled Billie Starkz at 4am. Erica Leigh, Killian McMurphy, Still Life with Apricots & Pears and Molly McCoy spiced up Camp Leapfrog’s Cibernetico marathon match. Parrow and EFFY (aka Sodomy) thrived in separate deathmatch blocks. Brooke Valentine, Leigh, McCoy and Allie Kat followed the Big Gay Block with some Real Hot Girl Shit.
But the redemptive label faded away quickly. These athletes weren’t stepping into a GCW ring to right a wrong or make up for their own shortcomings. They were developing their own narrative within an industry that historically hasn’t placed the pen in their hands.
EFFY’s Big Gay Block and every other block boasting LGBTQ talent featured a collection of LGBTQ pro wrestlers seizing the means to tell their own stories and rewrite their histories.
Fans saw it in the debuting Christopher Valentine, Dillon McQueen and Ace Perry stepping in front of thousands of viewers against stalwarts Jared Evens, Ashton Starr, MV Young and Still Life. Dark Sheik and Devon Monroe turned in a high-flying classic that made multiple top match lists coming out of Fight Forever. Joshua Wavra and Xavier Faraday refused to back down from two chrome-fueled brick walls in Parrow and Odinson.
The moment that best encapsulated this goal was the main event clash between EFFY and BIlly Dixon. The two men have become forerunners of placing LGBTQ pro wrestling in the spotlight. Dixon’s Butch vs. Gore production house delivered its titular event and Paris Is Bumping in 2020 while EFFY’s relationship with GCW set the table for the Big Gay Brunch.
But the Big Gay Street Fight that brought the two friends together as foes on Saturday holds a history dating back to 2019. The two clashed in a match that shared the same moniker but none of the spirit of their main event clash during A Matter of Pride’s 2019 Wrestlemania weekend show.
The build-up touched on topics that deserved a spotlight, such as Black queer erasure and white privilege within the LGBTQ community. But both Dixon and EFFY expressed frustration with the 2019 match due to the promotion’s lack of preparedness.
Saturday was the opportunity for two out men in pro wrestling who emerged as leaders of the LGBTQ pro wrestling movement to hit backspace and build something deserving of the moment. EFFY said as much before the steel chair and door-laden battle got underway.
“Look at the fucking fork in the road of us building goddamn dynasties; of us deciding that we get to pluck the people who’ve been overlooked… and giving them the chances we forged for ourselves,” EFFY said. “Billy, we are doing something magical. It’s beautiful. It’s great for our community. But, Billy, I never got the opportunity to beat the fuck out of yu … now I have invited you back for what will be, erasing history, the first Big Gay Street Fight.”
And it lived up to its promise, complete with EFFY surviving being thrown down a flight of stairs.
If EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch’s lasting statement was that LGBTQ pro wrestling’s place in the business is undeniable, then the Big Gay Block’s refrain is that LGBTQ pro wrestling isn’t beholden to anyone, even its own internal trappings, in its ability to craft resonant stories. They are more than athletes: they are authors. To quote Dixon, “Get the fuck out of the way. The queens are coming through.”