AEW World Tag Team Champion was concerned that coming out as gay would negatively affect or possibly end his career in the ring.
In November 2020, Bowens, alongside Acclaimed teammate, Max Caster, signed a five-year deal with AEW and are in their first reign as World Tag Team Champions.
After coming out as bisexual in 2017, Bowens shared a video in 2019 with his partner, stating he now solely identifies as homosexual.
Bowens is proud of who he is, but for years he feared he would never have the chance to come out due to his career.
Speaking on the Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend podcast, the AEW star explained how the decision to not come out was seen as the more pragmatic choice.
“I would sit in my room, in my car, and just cry thinking if I came out, you know, my career is over, fans would hate me, wrestlers would hate me, a national TV company wouldn’t take a chance on me.”
Bowens added that he feels proud for coming out, and hopes to be an example to others that there is nothing wrong with being LGBTQ+.
“To be able to be somebody that people can watch on television, hopefully connect to and relate to, to give them that sense of hope that, I made it through, they can make it through.”
While there was once a stigma around LGBTQ+ in wrestling, that isn’t the case (as much) anymore.
In addition to Bowens, AEW’s first openly gay champion, AEW is also home to Nyla Rose, a transwoman, and both Toni Storm and referee Aubrey Edwards identify as bisexual.
In WWE, Sonya Deville is the promotion’s first openly lesbian Superstar, while Doudrop, Kayla Braxton, and the recently returned Tegan Nox have also come out as bisexual.