Israeli wrestler Nir Rotenberg aka Rixon Ruas is Israel’s first wrestling champion to come out as gay and said he did so after realizing “the extent of the responsibility and the influence that [his] actions have now that I am a champion.”
Said Rixon, who lives in Tel Aviv with his partner and his partner’s two children: “If I had a gay role model as a young wrestler, the fears I’ve had in the past would have been avoided.”
He added: “My goal is to use the wrestling platform to convey messages and to create visibility and representation of the community in a field where it has not existed to date. In addition, it’s important for me to make it clear to everyone that all our successes and achievements as a community are not self-evident and that we have much more to achieve….I would like to be a role model for young people who are at the point where I was a few years ago. I want to tell them, ‘do not be afraid to be who you are.’ I proved that a representative from the community could be a champion and a leading figure without being ashamed and without apologizing. This is a record for me, but after reaching this peak, my goal is to promote Israeli wrestling in Israel and abroad. To expose the field to more audience in Israel and expose Israeli wrestling around the world.”
Read the full story at A Wider Bridge.