Bisexual wrestler Adam Bolt on how coming out helped him ‘let go’ and be himself in the ring

On the left Adam Bolt is pictured with a trophy wearing stripy underwear. On the right he is pictured wearing a plaid shirt that is open and he is wearing sunglasses.

When Adam Bolt got into wrestling, he quickly discovered that he was never going to be successful as long as he was hiding who he really was.

In a heartfelt social media post in June 2021, Adam Bolt – whose real name is Adam Johnson – came out as bisexual. He opened up about his fear that he would be “rejected or looked at different” in the wrestling world, but explained that the act of hiding himself from view was no longer an option.

Two years on, Adam Bolt has never looked back. The response to his public coming out has been rapturous – and it’s made him a better wrestler than ever.

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

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

Deciding to come out publicly wasn’t easy, but Adam was ultimately inspired by the emergence of the Speaking Out movement in wrestling.

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“I thought [wrestling] was great when I first got into it but I was a bit blinded by it being what I wanted to do,” he admits. “In lockdown, everybody had a bit of a reset and there was a movement called the Speaking Out movement where it was predominantly women in wrestling came forward and spoke out about cases of abuse they had faced, whether that was mental or physical, and they showed courage to all get together and put these stories out there.”

Like many others in wrestling, Adam was “disgusted” to find out some of the mistreatment that had occurred within wrestling – but he also says the movement has helped make it a “safer space”.

“If somebody says something or acts inappropriately on a show now it’ll be called out straight away and people won’t tolerate it. So in terms of being a safe space for people it’s very good but in terms of the opportunities as well it’s ever growing.”

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

With wrestling becoming a more safe and inclusive environment than ever before, Adam now feels like he can be himself in new ways. His character feels more authentic than ever, and it’s helped him get more comfortable in the ring.

Adam Bolt in the wrestling ring.
Adam Bolt in the wrestling ring. (Supplied)

“[My character] is a heightened version of me. I just take small things about myself. I always like to go out and look good and I take care of my appearance, so I turn that up to 100. That can either make people think I’m the most obnoxious person ever and hate me when it’s called for, or they can kind of relate to me.

“That’s where the costumes come into it as well. A lot of thought goes into some people’s [costumes]. Depending on the character some people just wear what they like. I for one would not be seen in the street wearing anything I wear in wrestling!” He laughs. 

For Adam it’s all about “extravagance” – his look isn’t necessarily camp, it’s more about exhibiting the persona of a “wannabe Hollywood celebrity”. He likes to throw a bit of comedy into the mix, too.

“I just let loose and have fun, but I think a lot of that comes from [the fact that] I can be myself now. I’m not cracking jokes and wondering what people think and there’s no anxiety about it. I’m just me and it works well for me.”

Adam Bolt in the wrestling ring.
Adam Bolt in the wrestling ring. (Supplied)

As he gets more and more comfortable in his skin, Adam has become more ambitious than ever. He would ultimately like to move to America and build a career for himself there.

“I think when you’ve got a passion for something like that it’s hard to feel like you will ever be satisfied without having that be the main thing in your life,” he says.

While he works towards that goal, he wants to be open about he is so other queer people know that they too can have a future in wrestling.

“Everybody has their own journey. Whether you’re 13, 30 or 45 or older, it doesn’t matter. Once you get there it is the best thing because you can be yourself.” 

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

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