Professional wrestling champion Nir Rotenberg has come out in the hopes to inspire others.
Also known as Rixon, the Israeli athlete lives in Tel Aviv with partner Ronen and Ronen’s two children.
The two have plans to get married and have children of their own.
‘I understood the extent of the responsibility and the influence that my actions have now that I am a champion, and I knew that it was time to come out of the closet in public,’ he said, according to A Wider Bridge. (Original in Hebrew).
‘If I had a gay role model as a young wrestler, the fears I’ve had in the past would have been avoided.’
His wrestling league friends know already, as well as family, and now he wanted to tell the world.
Rotenberg said: ‘My goal is to use the wrestling platform to convey messages and to create visibility and representation of the community in a field where it has not existed to date.
‘In addition, it’s important for me to make it clear to everyone that all our successes and achievements as a community are not self-evident and that we have much more to achieve.’
Pro wrestling champ: ‘Do not be afraid to be who you are’
Unlike most wrestling ‘characters’, Rixon is a ‘good person’ and ‘works hard’.
Rotenberg also intends to incorporate the LGBTI message into his character.
‘I’m not only doing this for me, but there’s a whole community behind every one of my achievements,’ he said.
‘Before I came out I was trying to succeed for me personally. Today it’s more because I want to represent my country and represent my community.’
Rotenberg said he would like to be a role model for young people.
‘I want to tell them, “do not be afraid to be who you are”.’