Pro-wrestler comes out as gay after finding love – read his inspiring story

A professional wrestler based in Orlando, Florida, has spoken publicly about his sexuality for the first time.

Mike Parrow, 34, says he finally decided to come out to friends, family and fellow wrestlers around four years ago. This was around the same time that he met, and fell in love with, the man who he recently asked to be his husband.

Standing 6’4” and weighing 300lbs, Parrow makes for an imposing figure. Those who have watched him in the ring are unlikely to know that for many years he wrestled foes of a different nature – internal struggles that led him to contemplate suicide and seek out conversion therapy.

Mike Parrow in the ringMike Parrow in the ring (Photo: supplied)

Growing up and moving to Florida

Parrow was raised alongside his brother and sister in Troy, New York State. His mom is a teacher and his father a police officer. He did well enough at school to contemplate a career in law after gaining a degree at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina.

‘After college, like every college student, you really don’t know what you’re going to do or what you’re going to be,’ he says.

‘I had a couple of friends that I went to college with, and they knew that I had a passion for professional wrestling, and they had said, “Why don’t you give it a go?”

By this stage, he had already applied for law school, but a voice inside him urged him to follow his dream. ‘Something just said, “You know what: Try this.” The worst that could happen is you just don’t like it, you know? Law school’s always going to be there.’

Although his family were surprised by his decision, he sought out a wrestling school and committed himself to a year-long course. Parrow packed his bags and headed for the 3D Academy in Kissimmee, Florida.

Parrow in action in the ringParrow in action (Photo: supplied)

‘I hate losing’

That was in 2009. The academy’s course is rigorous and tough.

‘I was about 330lbs when I came too wrestling school, and I hadn’t been working out in a while, so it was a little bit harder for me. But they work with every student to get them ready to step into the ring.’

Despite the physical demands of the course, Parrow relished the challenge.

‘I’m an extremely competitive person. Extremely competitive. I absolutely hate losing. So everything I’ve ever done in my life, I’ve set goals for myself. So once I stepped through that door I told myself that no matter what, I am going to get through this year.’

Parrow’s dedication led to spots on the independent wrestling ring. He now competes all around the US, mainly through wrestling companies Evolve and MLW.

Struggles with his sexuality

If the relocation to Florida and decision to wrestle felt right to Parrow, other parts of his life did not…..

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