Adam Bolt was able to “let go” and be himself in the wrestling ring after coming out as bisexual. (Included)

When Adam Bolt started wrestling, he quickly realized that he would never be successful as long as he kept a secret about who he really was.

In a heartfelt social media post in June 2021, Adam Bolt – real name Adam Johnson – came out as bisexual. He spoke about his fear that he would be “rejected or viewed differently” in the wrestling world, but explained that hiding from the public was no longer an option.

Two years later, Adam Bolt has never looked back. The reaction to his public coming out was overwhelming – and it made him a better wrestler than ever.

“Wrestling is very character and personality based, and one of the best pieces of advice I got was that the best characters in wrestling, the most successful ones, are just heightened versions of yourself,” Adam tells PinkNews. “That made me look at myself and think: How can I be this if I’m not myself?

“I always felt like I was holding something back. I always felt like I was performing at, say, 80 percent because I didn’t feel like I could just let go.”

The decision to come out publicly wasn’t an easy one, but Adam ultimately took inspiration from the emergence of the Speaking Out movement in wrestling.

“I thought [wrestling] When I first got into it it was great, but I was a bit blinded by the fact that it was what I wanted to do,” he admits. “During lockdown everyone had a bit of a reboot and there was a movement called Speaking Out where predominantly women in wrestling came forward and spoke about instances of abuse they had faced, be it mental or physical, and proved it the courage to all come together and spread these stories.”

Like many others in wrestling, Adam was “disgusted” when he learned of the abuse that had taken place in wrestling – but he also says the movement helped make it a “safer space.”

“If someone says something or behaves inappropriately on a show, it will be brought up immediately and people will not tolerate it. In terms of being a safe space for people it’s very good, but also in terms of opportunities it’s constantly growing.”

Adam Bolt’s wrestling character is a “heightened version” of himself

As wrestling has become a safer and more inclusive environment than ever before, Adam now feels like he can be himself in new ways. His character seems more authentic than ever and it has helped him feel more comfortable in the ring.

Adam Bolt in the wrestling ring. (Included)

“[My character] is a heightened version of me. I only take in little things about myself. I always like to go out and look good and I care about my appearance so I turn it up to 100. This can either make people think I’m the most disgusting person ever and hate me if it is necessary, or they may have something to do with me.

“This is also where the costumes come into play. Some people think about it a lot [costumes]. Depending on their personality, some people simply wear what they like. For me, I wouldn’t be seen on the street wearing something I wear to wrestle!” He laughs.

For Adam, it’s all about “extravagance” – his look isn’t necessarily campy, it’s more about flaunting the personality of a “wannabe Hollywood star.” He also likes to bring a bit of comedy into the mix.

“I just let loose and have fun, but I think a lot of that comes from me [the fact that] I can be myself now. I don’t joke around and wonder what people think and I’m not afraid of it. I’m just me and it works well for me.”

Adam Bolt in the wrestling ring. (Included)

As he becomes more comfortable in his own skin, Adam is more ambitious than ever. Ultimately, he would like to move to America and pursue a career there.

“I think when you’re passionate about something like that, it’s hard to feel like you’re ever going to be satisfied without that being the main thing in your life,” he says.

As he works toward that goal, he wants to speak openly about himself so other queer people know they too can have a future in wrestling.

“Everyone has their own journey. It doesn’t matter whether you are 13, 30 or 45 or older. Once you get there, it’s the best because you can be yourself.”

He adds: “It’s great that I’m open about it, but if I can’t help people along the way, then what’s the point? There’s nothing better than that.”

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