It seems after many years of wrestlers being forced to restrain from sharing their sexuality, WWE are now set to allow their superstars to portray gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters as part of their current programming.

This comes after Chief Branding Officer Stephanie McMahon talked about it at a recent Beyond Sport United event. Stephanie talked about WWE being committed to LGBT exclusivity and the fact that she is open to including it in story lines in WWE in the near future.

She said:  “Throughout my life, I have grown up knowing gay [WWE] superstars and executives, it’s always been accepted, but now it’s about getting that message out there.”

The first known gay wrestler was former Intercontinental Champion Pat Patterson who recently revealed his sexuality on an episode of WWE Network Exclusive show Legends House.

This was a rumor that had been going around WWE for many years so it didn’t come as much of a shock to the WWE Universe, but the fact that Patterson had to wait until the end of his career to confirm it is exactly what is currently wrong with society. The revelation on the show was met with a lot of positivity from his friends and has been much more accepted now than it would have been many years ago when he was still an active wrestler.

Patterson has recently released a book entitled Accepted, which talks about his life whilst working in the wrestling world and how he felt throughout knowing that his sexuality had a stigma attached.

Stephanie talked about the book and Pat Patterson, she continued: “It’s about his life as a gay wrestler and how from the beginning of his career he had to hide that. He first came out … on a show on WWE Network called ‘Legends’ House.’ It was a reality show with a bunch of our legends, and he had such a positive response. It was so warm and supportive that he then decided to tell his story.”

WWE currently employ two superstars who have already been open and public about their sexuality, Darren Young stated that he was in a homosexual relationship back in 2014 when he released a frank and honest video online and WWE have seemingly been supportive about his decisions and still continued to push him as a superstar on WWE TV.

Rosa Mendes also stated that she was bisexual in a recent episode of Total Divas and even went as far as kissing former WWE Divas Champion Paige, who explained that she didn’t feel the same way. Rosa then met her now fiance before becoming pregnant with her first child. A baby girl whom she later called Jordan and is currently still under contract with WWE while she completes her maturnity leave.

It is a bold move to integrate this into their programming and could see a lot of negative reaction from some longtime fans of the product but it seems WWE are aware that the world is moving forward and society is more accepting of people’s sexuality and are watching and reading about it in many mainstream films and novels currently.

Stephanie confirmed that WWE would go forward with these plans and even stated: “We will integrate LGBT characters into our programming … and I do think there will be an opportunity to integrate some of those storylines in the near future.”

It is hard to see how this would be integrated into storylines but it is a step in the right direction for WWE to finally integrate something of this calibre into their programming.

Many stars have hinted at this over the years with Vince’s Devil’s, Paige and AJ Lee and even Trish Status and Mickie James’ year long story line filled with lesbian undertones. WWE finds it easy to adapt story lines so as not to cause offense and it seems that they could be set to once again continue to do this.

It is unknown what the future story lines may be and who will be included in them but it seems that thanks to Pat Paterson and the likes of Darren and Rosa feeling confortable enough to share their sexuality publically, WWE will now be a safe place for superstars of any sexual preference, which really is a sign of things to come.