Saturday’s “Wrestle Queerdom” event delivered multiple memorable matches and moments featuring trans, non-binary and gender-nonconforming wrestlers, but one very personal and special moment in particular kicked off the show. Pro wrestler Aiden von Engeland came out as a “trans guy.”
The announcement came during von Engeland’s entrance for his match against Shea McCoy. Donning a new haircut and sporting a lacrosse stick, von Engeland entered the ring and asked for the microphone before ring announcer Brandon Hamilton finished introducing him.
“I had to cut that entrance off short because there have been a few things a little bit wrong with what was on the card,” von Engeland said, addressing the crowd. “Now, this day isn’t about me, but this is Trans Graps and this is an important day for everyone. And that’s why I chose today to let you all know who I am.”
Von Engeland then took off his t-shirt to reveal a singlet with “He/Him” printed on the front and “Aiden” printed on the back. “I am a trans guy. I go by he/him and my name is Aiden. I love you guys.”
The announcement sparked chants of Aiden’s new name from the crowd and a visibly emotional von Engeland thanked them before the opening bell of the match.
Von Engeland publicly identified as non-binary and used they/them pronouns prior to Saturday night. Known mostly for wrestling in the midwest U.S. and the U.K., von Engeland is a decorated competitor in both singles and tag team wrestling.
He defeated out wrestler Jordan Blade for the Paradigm Pro Wrestling Super Middleweight title at the company’s “Terminal Combat Part 2” event last month and previously held the New Wave Pro Tag Team titles alongside his spouse Sidney von Engeland.
After the match, Aiden took to Twitter to speak further on the moment and offer thanks to Sidney as well.
“I’m not gonna post 10,000 tweets about this but in short [I don’t know] what kind of place I’m gonna have in wrestling now that I’m transitioning. But I’d rather be me and happy than trying to squish into molds that don’t fit,” he said. “[Sidney] thank you above everyone for being my rock.”
he added in a subsequent tweet: “Every trans person should get to come out in front of a wrestling crowd. A load of supportive people chanting your new name is peak gender affirmation.”
Von Engeland’s coming out now places him among the small contingent of out trans male and trans masc pro wrestlers currently active. He joins Canaris Morrow, Max The Impaler, Casey Johns, Eros and Rat King among others in this growing and visible community within pro wrestling.
Outsports congratulates Aiden von Engeland on his coming out and proving again that Courage Is Contagious.