LGBTQ-owned pro wrestling promotion Uncanny Attractions will crown its first champion on Saturday afternoon. Out wrestlers Billy Dixon and Edith Surreal will vie to become the first to hold the newly created UNchampionship when the festivities commence under the Austin sky.
Moments in pro wrestling don’t get much bigger than a main-event title match, especially for a brand new championship. But the significance of Saturday’s event extends far beyond such prizes.
“Uncanny is a really special promotion and it means a lot to work and perform there, especially since it’s in a place like Texas, which is pretty inhospitable to folks like us,” Surreal said during a recent appearance on the LGBT In The Ring podcast. “Us performing is an act of protest in itself.”
Pro wrestling isn’t commonly viewed through the lens of protest historically. Yet the continued growth of companies focused on providing space for marginalized populations, the empowerment that provides to a large number of LGBTQ and BIPOC wrestlers, and worsening political climates for those communities have forced that hand.
According to the ACLU, there are currently 52 anti-LGBTQ bills currently circulating through the Texas state legislature targeting various issues including: altering gender markers on identification documents; drag bans (which indirectly impacts pro wrestling due to the vague language of said bills); barring access to gender-affirming healthcare for trans and gender-diverse people.
Do you have your tix yet for one of the wrestling shows in TX?! Love Music, Wrestling & Drag May 13th at @FarOutLounge - Doors open at 12p!— UNCANNY ATX (@uncannyatx) May 7, 2023
Stream: @TitleMatchWN pic.twitter.com/aucOpnhlSi
“I remember having a conversation a little while ago with a group of friends and I was mentioning some bill or something. I think they just didn’t know what was going on,” Surreal said. “And they’re supportive people and queer people and just didn’t really know what was going on. So I kind of felt like, ‘Wow. If people this close to me don’t know that these types of bills are being passed then I think I need to speak up a little bit more.’”
LGBTQ people in states across the nation are facing similar dockets full of bills keenly aimed at queer people. Elected representatives who are part of the community — such as Montana state Representative Zooey Zephyr — are being silenced when calling out the measures’ dangerous and hateful repercussions.
This climate is why Surreal, who is trans, frames her battle with Dixon in such a way.
“It’s necessary to make a statement and to say something, to perform something,” Surreal said. “That is always going to be hanging over the performance, going into places like that.… But we have to be defiant against that, you know. I can’t let that stop me from performing in those places.
Edith Surreal isn't just coming to win but to make history alongside Billy Dixon as they tear down the house on May 13th at Far Out Lounge in Austin.— UNCANNY ATX (@uncannyatx) May 4, 2023
Get Your Tix: https://t.co/btsFdOOouW
❤️Stream: https://t.co/J3CeCy5ww0 pic.twitter.com/oZbcUohwq4
“It does feel scary, but I think you have to push through because we always push through, we always fight back and we are going to win. We always win. We just have to keep that in mind and not let all that stuff slow us down.”
That sentiment is shared by Uncanny Attractions owner Lynn Frailey, evidenced by the inclusion of Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe, former San Antonio City Council candidate and current chief of staff to Bexar County Commissioner Rebecca Clay-Flores. Gonzales-Wolfe’s campaign to become the first out trans woman to be an elected official in Texas was covered in the documentary “A Run For More,” and she continues to work with trans advocacy groups in the state to fight back against the government’s attacks on trans civil rights.
Frailey also told Outsports that Saturday’s event will be the first under Uncanny Attractions’ partnership with local advocacy group SAFE.
Saturday will end with someone raising Uncanny Attractions’ pink, black and gold grand prize, but that day will better represent the latest stand in its inherent fight against a government hellbent on erasing LGBTQ people. That’s the true value that the company’s trademark mix — “Drags and Dropkicks” — holds.
Uncanny Attractions: Drags and Dropkicks will take place Saturday, May 13, at 2pm ET from The Far Out Lounge in Austin and will stream live on Title Match Network.