When it comes to being LGBTQ+ within professional wrestling, there are more wrestlers who fall under that banner than you may think. From Sonny Kiss to Charlie Morgan to Nyla Rose, there’s plenty of big names in the wrestling world who identify with the colors of the rainbow. Even in Scotland, you have openly out pro wrestlers. The first ever Scottish wrestler to come out as gay was a man by the name of Christopher Saynt, who’s been an active wrestler since 2011.
After graduating from the Source Wrestling School in Glasgow, Saynt became a regular member of the Source Wrestling roster while also competing for Scottish Wrestling Alliance (SWA). In his debut year, he was already challenging for the SWA Scottish Heavyweight Championship, an opportunity he earned after defeating Charles William Yum and then Jam O’Malley in a four-man tournament to earn the championship match with Eric Canyon. Even though he came away from the match unsuccessful, it was a remarkable accomplishment challenging for one of Scotland’s most prestigious championships after just a few months of competing in the squared circle.
Seeing as he was rising through the ranks at an incredible rate, it didn’t take long for The Sinner to be competing for other promotions, including Pride Wrestling, World Wide Wrestling League (W3L), and Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW), wrestling names such as “The Lowland Superstar” Glen Dunbar, “The Iron King” Joe Coffey, and “The Regulator” Wolfgang. It was around about this time where Christopher Saynt came out of the closet, revealing his true self to the world about five years ago. When asked about his coming out process within the wrestling world, Saynt stated that “I knew I had wanted to come out”, adding that his friends in wrestling at the time were great supporters, as was his then-trainer Big Damo (now Killian Dain in WWE). He also said, “it felt right at the time as it helped grow my confidence and brought a lot of answers in my life”.
After coming out, Christopher became increasingly more flamboyant during his matches, a trait that is often associated with LGBTQ+ men in general. Don’t let that fool you though – he was still as aggressive as ever, something that allowed him to achieve championship success in the form of the Scottish Wrestling Entertainment (SWE) Future Division Championship, which he captured from Sammii Jayne in May 2014. During his five-month reign, Saynt also joined forces with Dave Conrad in other promotions in a unit known as The Gatecrashers. This alliance with The One True Alpha brought Saynt to ICW on a semi-regular basis, mainly as part of the Spacebaws series. October 2014 would see Saynt drop the Future Division Championship to Scotty Riccio, but this didn’t derail his success. The following March would see him debut for Discovery Wrestling (DW), a company that Saynt can now call one of his home promotions. It didn’t take long for him to earn a crack at the company’s Y Division Championship as he defeated BT Gunn, Lionheart, and Danny Boy Rodgers to earn the right to face the champion, although he would end up facing Lewis Girvan for the vacant title after Chris Sabin (the inaugural champion) was unable to be in Edinburgh enough times to be the champion. He would, however, lose that match, marking the start of Girvan’s 666-day reign with the strap.
Following his coming out in wrestling, Christopher Saynt received his fair share of hate messages. As noted in an interview with BBC Scotland in October 2018, he revealed that people had said “you shouldn’t be in wrestling” and “wish you were dead”, but the one that really got to him was when someone said “you’re a failure for who you are and what you do”. Despite those comments, he told Last Word on Pro Wrestling that “they were a minor part of the reaction”, and that he’s had “no issues within the companies I work for now”. No matter what the haters said about him, nothing could stop Christopher Saynt because of the people he was helping come out themselves, saying “people would send me messages saying I came out of you”.
One thing that became part of Saynt’s wrestling persona was that he started being accompanied to the ring by members of his new stable, The House of Saynt. Along the way, The HoS would include Lou King Sharp, Theo Doros, Grant McIvor, and Jayla Dark, as well as a plethora of drag performers. One of these performers was his real-life partner Ann Phetamine, who started out as a manager but eventually became an in-ring performer with Saynt. In the aforementioned BBC interview, he said that “a brief conversation in the living room led to us walking into the ring together, hand in hand, battering people”. It’s possible that it made it easier for Phetamine to become a wrestler because of the amount of equality within Scottish wrestling these days. When we asked Saynt about whether or not he thought today’s society was more inclusive, he responded with “today’s wrestling community is very open and welcoming to all LGBTQ+ athletes”. He also agreed that having the likes of Finn Balor claiming that Balor Club is for everyone, as well as Sonya Deville being openly lesbian within WWE, has helped others realize that “being LGBTQ+ is not something to hold you back from reaching that level”.
In more recent times, Christopher has spent the majority of his time competing for Discovery Wrestling and Respect Pro Wrestling (RPW). In the former, he won the 2018 Match of the Year award for his Y Division Championship match against Joe Coffey while also having an incredible Unsanctioned Match opposite former ally Theo Doros at the 2019 Disco Derby event this past March. Meanwhile, in Respect Pro, he’s formed a new group known as The Sensational Scenebirds alongside Darrell Costello and Emily Hayden. Together with Costello, the pair almost succeeded in becoming the first ever RPW Tag Team Champions but were ultimately sent packing by winners BMD (Bobby Roberts and JD Bravo) in an Elimination Match also including The Violence Institute (Luke Matthews and MATT DALY) and Team AbFab (Jonathan Richards and Jesse Santana).
When he’s not mixing it up in the ring, The Patriarch of The House of Saynt can be found on the mic at The Show Downstairs, a drag show usually held at Katie’s Bar in Glasgow. This is something that he has a blast doing and judging by reviews on the Facebook page, those who attend seem to really enjoy it. We rounded off our interview with Saynt by asking him what advice he would give to any LGBTQ+ wrestlers who may be scared by the prospect of being an openly out wrestler. His response – “my main advice is go for it”. He added that “being gay, lesbian, pansexual or trans shouldn’t affect your training and in a world of folk being the characters that they portray, it’s also a world where we can be the people that we truly are. It’s all about taking that first step into the school”.
LWOS would like to thank Christopher Saynt for taking the time to speak to us for this article.
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