Former WWE wrestler Gabbi Tuft came out as transgender this week, saying, “This is me. Unashamed, unabashedly me.”
In the ring, Tuft went by the name “Tyler Reks,” wrestling professionally from the late 2000s to the early 2010s. She left her career to spend more time with her wife, Priscilla, and their daughter.
Before retiring, her signature move was known as the “Burning Hammer.” She competed in iconic television events, including “Raw,” “SmackDown” and “WrestleMania.”
In her lengthy announcement, Tuft wrote on Instagram that she was afraid of what her family, friends and followers would say once she came out.
“I am no longer afraid and I am no longer fearful,” she said Thursday, after an emotional countdown leading up to the announcement. “I can now say with confidence, that I love myself for WHO I am.”
Tuft told Extra TV that she has been “suppressing” her gender identity her entire life. She called the last eight months “some of the darkest” of her life, describing the “emotional turmoil” or embracing her true self.
“However, the day I stopped caring about what other people thought, was the day I truly became limitless and allowed my authentic self to come into the light,” she wrote on Instagram.
Tuft shared that she has the support of her wife, family and closest friends, saying that she is “forever grateful” for their acceptance. She added that she remains the same person she has always been.
“I don’t expect everyone to agree or understand. It’s not my place to change any of your core beliefs. Just know that the outer shell may change, but the soul remains the same,” she wrote. “I promise to always be transparent and truthful with my journey, and to be a light to those that are in need.”