A key component of LGBTQ pro wrestling’s rise in recent years has been the ability of those making it gayer to show that LGBTQ identities belong in every setting and form the artform takes on.
From technical wizards to high-flyers to heart-wrenching storytellers, LGBTQ pro wrestlers have always been able to do it all, and they are showing it.
The world of deathmatch pro wrestling isn’t exempt from the movement. Especially the no-ring variety. No-ring deathmatches have been amazing vessels to introduce new audiences to pro wrestling. They also represent a proving ground and jump-off point for a slew of notable LGBTQ pro wrestlers (EFFY, Parrow, MV Young, Jamie Senegal).
That young legacy will be on full display on Friday, June 11, when No Peace Underground, in cooperation with EFFY and Parrow, hold the first Pride month no-ring deathmatch extravaganza, appropriately titled “Fear The Gay Agenda.”
A “Last Daddy Standing” match two years in the making between EFFY and Parrow headlines the stacked card, but the name of the event itself drew nearly as many eyes and reaction to the event on its announcement.
“The Gay Agenda” as a term has its own derogatory legacy, but the reclamation of the phrase, among others, morphed it into both a rallying cry and punchline in recent years.
With that in mind, Parrow had no hesitation when it came to stamping it on his showcase of violence.
“It’s ours. We own it,” Parrow said on the Outsports podcast LGBT In The Ring. “That’s exactly what Pride is. Pride, first and foremost, isn’t about we’re happy for being gay. We’re happy because we took control of our lives. We’re not living for somebody else anymore. We’re not hiding who we are to make other people happy. Because that gave them power that they shouldn’t have had in the first place.”
If any atmosphere can enhance that attitude it is the dim lights, broken doors and shattered light tubes of No Peace Underground.
Parrow cemented himself as a mainstay in the Orlando, FL-based deathmatch promotion by creating mesmerizing moments, highlighted by spiking Ring of Honor television champion Tony Deppen on a car roof on the streets of the city.
No Peace Underground shows are chaotic, and Fear The Gay Agenda plans to show that LGBTQ pro wrestlers of all ilk can thrive in the calamity. LGBTQ wrestlers Dark Sheik, Billy Dixon, Ashton Starr, Jai Vidal Aiden Aggro and Danger Kid are scheduled to compete and show what the Gay Agenda has to say.
“We’ve named it for a certain reason,” Parrow said. “To me, as an LGBTQ wrestler, we don’t get to make mistakes like our counterparts. So everything we do is a homerun. We don’t get to not hit home runs, and that’s a lot of pressure on us. Because everybody’s looking at us to make a mistake so they can just point the finger and say, ‘See, they’re only there because they’re gay’ or ‘They couldn’t do it.’ That’s not fair to us.”
Parrow and EFFY saved a match familiar to both for MV Young. The Leader of the Polyam Cult will compete in a Polyam Deathmatch Twink Gauntlet, a twist on the same match Parrow wrestled in at the first two EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch events.
“The internet reacts to [Twink Gauntlets],” Parrow chuckled. “We might get canceled the second that match starts.”
Fear The Gay Agenda’s message and timing holds a special significance to Parrow as well. The show will take place one day ahead of the five-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting. Forty-nine people lost their lives at the popular LGBTQ club in 2016, and it has stuck in the mind of Parrow, an Orlando resident, ever since.
He still wears the number 49 on his wrestling gear and Fear The Gay Agenda is his way of honoring the anniversary.
“‘49’ will never come off my tights,” Parrow said. “‘49’ is one of the major reasons I live authentically to myself. A lot of those people that passed that night were people that, when I was coming out to the community, told me I didn’t have to be scared to be who I was. The Latin night there was one of the most popular nights and still one of the most popular nights. I will never forget that night.”
“The whole reason I picked the 11th was it’s the day between my anniversary, and the night it happened. And I didn’t want to do it on the 12th. Because that’s their day. That will always be their day,” he added.
““It doesn’t feel like five years. I know me and EFFY are going to go to [Pulse] before the event. Anybody that wants to come with us, I’m gonna bring them to Pulse to understand why we do the things we do.”
No Peace Underground Fear The Gay Agenda will stream live Friday, June 11, at 8pm ET on Independentwrestling.tv.
Listen to the full interview with Parrow on LGBT In The Ring. Download and listen to new episodes every Thursday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all podcast services.