As sports on a global scale move away from stigma and closer toward inclusion for the LGBTQ community, it's easy to discount areas that have been historically unwelcoming for queer athletes and fans in favor of the positive momentum. However, after this weekend's WrestleMania 34, no one can say that change isn't coming to professional wrestling.
Ahead of the event Sonya Deville was set to make history when she competed in the first-ever women's battle royal as World Wrestling Entertainment's first openly lesbian wrestler. During the streamed event Deville grappled in a rainbow-colored costume giving a nod to her LGBTQ identity.
During the main pay-per-view event Irish wrestler Finn Balor made sure that his entrance into the ring was one that wouldn't soon be forgotten. Flanked by members of New Orleans' LBGTQ community wearing Balor's GLAAD-benefiting t-shirt, the wrestler gave the audience and the broadcast's viewers (more than a million) a grand gesture of acceptance.
"I got a couple ideas that I'm working out for Sunday that I think people are really going to dig," said Balor before the event, adding in an Instagram post that "everyone deserves to be accepted and included." Watch Balor's entrance, below.
\u201cAwesome! Finn Balor\u2019s entrance included LGBT+ fans of New Orleans \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08 #wrestlemania #wwe #finnbalor #lgbt\u201d