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“What is EFFY?”
That is the question posed to many by the man himself throughout the latest episode of IWTV’s documentary series “The Life Of.”
Responses vary from the obvious to the absurd at times, but the variety of interpretations placed upon one of the most popular gay pro wrestlers in the world all speak to one common conclusion: the depth of EFFY continues to reveal itself.
His place on the 2023 Outsports Power 100 reflects the undying work he’s put into building his reputation, and opportunities for other LGBTQ wrestlers, in the world of professional wrestling.
EFFY is an LGBTQ pro wrestling icon who built himself into a figure whose notoriety spans the length of land and sea without ever signing with a major televised pro wrestling promotion.
After starting his wrestling journey in a ring perched in a Florida yard, he developed a following in the Southeast United States rooted in the reality of who he is. To hear him describe it, he just likes “fucking with people,” pushing at the boundaries of pro wrestling’s unwritten rules as a means of highlighting what it can evolve to be.
To that end, EFFY is a self-described “art project” born to challenge the common definitions of pro wrestling.
Yes, EFFY is a pro wrestler, but one fueled by the desire for change and willing to punch holes in the artifice to help the process along. Whether playing to crowds in Pavo, Ga., or bleeding for his craft in Japan, little about his presentation to audiences has ever changed in his 10-year career.
His in-your-face expression of queerness, propensity for creating transgressive in-ring moments and ability to stand out in the endless sea of pro wrestling through unabashed weirdness remain intact. The only thing that has really changed is the color of his tights.
That sense of individuality is one reason EFFY is a pioneer. He is by no means the first or last out LGBTQ figure in pro wrestling, but EFFY is a driving force for the massive amount of change seen in pro wrestling over the last decade. He has been an outspoken figure for everything from labor rights to philanthropic hypocrisy to increased visibility for LGBTQ performers in pro wrestling.
EFFY is a promoter who puts his words into action through his “EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch” events multiple times a year, crafting a space specifically focused on empowering not only LGBTQ wrestlers but LGBTQ fans who historically haven’t felt welcomed by wrestling’s historically queerphobic interpretation of us.
“This is going to be a jumping-off point for people to say ‘Hey, we’ve seen this happen a little bit but now let’s all grab this thing by the horns and show them that we can do it too,” EFFY told Outsports ahead of the first “Big Gay Brunch” in 2020.
The queer pro wrestling showcase went international earlier this year when the “Big Gay Brunch” traveled to the U.K. for the first time.
The event also has taken on a role for the LGBTQ community outside of the ring. EFFY is someone who puts his money where his mouth is, as evidenced by him raising over $10,000 for LGBTQ organizations through his Wrestling is Gay merchandise line. 2022’s “Big Gay Brunch” in Dallas also served as a fundraiser for the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT).
“Going into Texas, I’m real fired up to raise even more money to send as a ‘f*** you,’ and as a ‘thank you’ to people who are having to live through this,” EFFY said on the LGBT In The Ring podcast. “What a magic f***ing concept that we can go out as independent performers, without leashes on us, and be able to do something as silly as pro wrestling, in its truest form, and give back in a real way to people.”
EFFY is all of these things and more: a broey pro wrestling demon on Netflix’s “Dead End: Paranormal Park,” a Twitch streamer spreading the gospel of independent wrestling, a champion with fellow BUSSY member Allie Katch and forever yours.
But perhaps the most important thing that EFFY is: He is the creation of a man, Taylor Gibson. A man who came to pro wrestling as a test of his sobriety, to find out if John Cena was a psyop, and who infused his own values into an entertaining character that developed into an inspiration for so many.
“We look out for each other, we look out for others and, when we have a cup that overfloweth, we do not let it spill,” EFFY said. “We make sure you get a taste.”