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Pro wrestler Anthony Bowens tackles the stigma around bisexuality on the cover of Attitude
The 27-year-old athlete opens up about his unlikely journey in our brand new Body issue.
2018-02-01

As a teenager, Anthony Bowens turned to pro-wrestling as a way to help overcome his crippling shyness - but it was coming out as bisexual that he feared would become his toughest battle.

The 27-year-old athlete, who often wrestles under the name 'Vigilante' and is also signed to BMG Models, opens up about his unlikely journey from bullied child to out and proud bisexual fighting champion in Attitude's Body Issue - in shops and available to download now.

Anthony came out publicly in September 2016 after his boyfriend, YouTuber Michael Pavano, introduced him as his partner in a video share online.

It was a moment that came very close to not happening, Anthony tells Attitude.

"'I kinda tensed up because i was like 'Oh, no one knows yet!' and I said to Michael 'I don't think you can put that up'.

Anthony and his boyfriend Michael, shot by Gary Vaughan exclusively for Attitude's Body Issue.

"Michael wasn't angry, but I saw he was disappointed and that broke my heart."

Anthony did come out, however, revealing to friends, fellow wrestling stars and the world that he was in fact bisexual - something he'd known himself since early adolescene.

"I think it was somewhere in the middle of high school", he recalls. "I was sitting at a table and a couple were walking down the street and I was like ‘Wow that girl’s beautiful.’

"Then I noticed that I was also looking to see who she was holding hands with and I was like 'That guy’s kind of attractive too...'"

However, little did Anthony know that by coming out as bisexual he would face stigma from both the gay and straight community, with many labelling him 'gay' and questioning the legitimacy of bisexuality.

Anthony Bowens, shot by Greg Vaughan exclusively for Attitude's Body Issue.

"I didn’t know that there was this big — I wouldn't say 'war' — but discrepancy. Which wasn’t the point of me coming out" he says.

"If I was with a woman — or anybody was with a woman — and they married her, and they were with her for the rest of their lives, that doesn’t change the fact that they’re still stimulated by men.

"That doesn’t make you straight, you’re still bi."

Not that Anthony himself is particularly hung up on how people label him, of course.

"If you were to call me gay I'd be like 'OK'. I'm not going to get pissy over it, you can call me what you like."

Elsewhere in Attitude's Body Issue, we meet Team USA's first out Winter Olympian, Adam Rippon, rising tran actress Daniela Vega, '80s icon Kim Wilde and hunky SAS: Who Dares Wins star Glenn Mainwaring.

We also explore issues like ageing, balding and anal sex, as we get to the, erm, bottom of gay men's relationship with their bodies.

Attitude's Body Issue is out now. But in print, subscribe or download.

Anthony is wearing @Marksandspencer

Photography: @gmvaughan

Fashion @josephkocharian

Make up @asarisuzanne