EFFY is taking over the UK and promises to take things to another level with his upcoming tour and his Big Gay Brunch UK coming to Liverpool over weekend.
The Dead End: Paranormal Park star and popular independent – whose ring name is an anagram for ‘electric, fantastic, f**k you’ – will be back on these shores next month with a big night set for on December 1, and he’s looking forward to giving fans a little extra.
He exclusively told Metro.co.uk: ‘It’s almost like there’s a little more excitement to it, where I think I’m actually gonna go and do some weirder stuff than I would usually do. There’s no strings on me, I’m the little Pinocchio boy who’s just getting to dance as fast as he can for the first time.’
EFFY is no stranger to the UK, and he loves the unbridled passion fans here have for every facet of wrestling.
‘Whether you’re doing something small and cheeky or you’re doing big stunts and moves, they’re really behind you one hundred percent,’ he smiled. ‘They seem to be more into having the full suspension of disbelief and just letting it ride and enjoying the party! I’m excited to kick it up a notch.’
The upcoming tour comes with the announcement EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch will be taking place in Liverpool in May 2023, which continues the 32-year-old star’s efforts to ensure wrestling is a safe space for queer performers, and somewhere everyone can thrive.
‘We’re only being so loud right now about our differences and about what makes us stand out, because we’ve been told to mute them and hide them away for so long,’ he explained. ‘The goal is at the end of the day to go, “We don’t care what your background is, we’re looking for the most entertaining performers.” ‘
EFFY, real name Taylor Gibson, has seen real progress over the years, and he’s glad to be in a position where it’s ‘impossible’ for him to book ‘every LGBTQ talent’ on his shows.
He said: ‘It takes a lot of broken hearts… There’s so many diverse, different types of performers that you can’t say, “Oh we’ve got us a gay wrestler on the show already”.
‘That’s still the mentality we deal with in some places when in reality, most of the audiences don’t care about the gender, race, LGBTQ or not differences. They wanna see great matches, they wanna see a great show and they wanna feel like their time has been respected.’
Wrestling is significant, both as a performer and a fan, when it comes to helping LBGTQ+ people discover themselves and find a welcoming community, with EFFY’s success and journey being a shining example of that.
‘I went to visit my parents the other day and my mom gave me a big box and it had a Booker T DVD and a Jeff Hardy DVD, and one of the WrestleMania copies so it’s always had some sort influence on my life,’ he said.
‘I think when you’re growing up and you’re trying to understand your own masculinity, your own feminine traits, your own things, this over the top, larger than life, real cartoon violence that is showing the good versus evil and showing all these things, I don’t see how, as a queer little child, you couldn’t be drawn to it.’
Describing the business as Power Rangers happening in front of your very eyes, he noted the importance of a space for people to feel ‘accepted in a live crowd’ as well as to ‘be out loud about their fandom’.
‘They’re now finding wrestling that they enjoy even more. They’re also finding out that there were a lot more in a second closet of being a pro wrestling fan, beyond whatever closet they were feeling like they were in when they couldn’t express themselves,’ he added.
‘To be able to still bring this to people and have people from all walks of life enjoy the storytelling and enjoy what we do, and be willing to come in with an open mind, it’s been really fantastic because the more people that can join along, the better it’s gonna get.’
While EFFY also reflects on his time playing viola in youth group bands in his ‘cummerbund and sparkly bowtie’, he acknowledged the unique nature of wrestling, especially with the way men and women are presented on screen.
‘There’s a weird exaggeration and caricature of emotion and caricature of hypermasculine and hyperfeminine stuff,’ he added. ‘I think as a queer person figuring out your identity and figuring out what you are, it at least gives you a lot of options to go through and things to consider.’
At this point, EFFY has built a real name for himself as an independent wrestler, and he’s keen to continue to use that unique platform to promote equality in both the talent on shows and the stories being told.
‘I’ve reached a weird stage in my career where I’ve done more than I expected to do in wrestling, I’ve punched down a lot of weird doors – I got Jeff Jarrett over again after no one gave a s**t about him,’ he quipped.
‘[Now], let’s make the wrestling environment that you’ve kind of imagined, that embraces creativity, that embraces people of all sexualities and genders and expressions, embraces the fact that diversity adds to stories.’
He smiled: ‘There’s still that little edge to it where we can have a safe working environment and an environment for people to take entertainment in, while also taking risks still and trying new things, and not boxing in what wrestling should be, and treating it as a medium of storytelling versus “pro wrestling is this story.” ‘
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