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WWE Icon Pat Patterson Comes Out: I 'Survived' the Industry Being Gay

WWE Icon Pat Patterson Comes Out: I 'Survived' the Industry Being Gay
Pat Patterson

06/14/2014 AT 12:25 PM EDT

Pat Patterson, the WWE icon who was the first intercontinental champion, is gay.

The Canadian wrestling legend, 73, has kept his sexuality a secret throughout his entire career, but finally used the finale of his reality show, Legends' House, to come out.

"From where I come from, when I had nothing, no family, no money, and I ended up with Vince [McMahon], working in the office, to me that was the biggest achievement of my life," Patterson told his fellow former wrestlers while sitting around a table sipping drinks.

And that's when, for the first time, he revealed that there is more to his life story than his success in the spotlight. "Sitting here tonight I'm going to say something and I would never want to say publicly, but being here with you guys, for once in my life, I'm going to be me now," he continued. "I survived all this being gay."

Following the short silence after his announcement, the group of men immediately started to tear up. "I've lived with that for 50-some years," Patterson said, before adding his life outside of the ring included a friend of 40 years, who passed away after a heart attack.

"I survived the business. I did, I'm so proud of me," he said while wiping away tears. "It's tough guys, it was tough."

Talking to the camera, Patterson, who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996, added he has no regrets about giving his life to the wrestling business. "For the rest of my life I want to be happy," he said.



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