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Video: My life as a gay wrestler in Scotland

Christopher Saynt explains what it's like being the first openly gay wrestler in the Scottish wrestling scene.

I've been wrestling for about three and a half years.

I got into it the simplest way possible - I searched for "Scottish wrestling" on Google, and the first result was the Source Wrestling School. I've been training there ever since.

Since I started I've had more than 100 matches. Sometimes I'll do two, or even three in a week. It's good to keep at it, but fighting that often can wear you out.

It is incredible how much there is going on in Scottish wrestling. Right now it is probably the most vibrant scene in Europe, and that is because there are so many companies willing to help each other out.

I'm lucky to have also worked with Scottish Wrestling Entertainment and Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW).

There is a lot of back and forth between these companies and a lot of collaboration. The crowd size varies.

When we last did a show at Motherwell Concert Hall, which seats 710, we filled the place.

We get people from all over coming to big shows like that. ICW sells out The Garage in Glasgow every month.

But I've been in places like Forfar and wrestled in front of about 10 people. A blog called Scottish Wrestling Central recently counted down the top 50 Scottish wrestlers.

They used a points system, so it's based on fact. I came in at number 22, which I'm quite proud of after just three years.

I do make money from wrestling.  It's not a lot, but it's enough to get by. Some wrestlers in Scotland earn enough to live off, and I'd like to reach that stage.

I work full-time as a clerical assistant in a primary school.

In January, I posted this video on YouTube, in which I talked about my successes in 2013 and my aims for the year ahead - and also came out about my sexuality.

This made me Scotland's first openly gay wrestler. Of my friends in wrestling, some knew before the video - the ones that I wanted to know.

After I told Damian O'Connor, the guy who trained me, he said he had more or less known for a year and a half.

I also had a lot of support from Glen Dunbar, who has been a mentor to me. I was nervous about the video, but Damian sat me down and talked through it with me.

Afterwards, I got a few messages, most of them very positive. Not just from wrestlers, but from people I didn't know, all around the country and places I'd never been to.

I've not come across any negative views in wrestling. I doubt anyone in wrestling would take a negative view, because it's such an open sport.

It invites everyone from all walks of life. A lot of my friends outside of wrestling were surprised - which surprised me.

If you look at the sport I do, we run around in sparkly underwear - it was bound to be one of us!

A few have taken it negatively, but that's their choice. Some people said I did the video for publicity. But I'm not just claiming to be the first openly gay wrestler in Scotland - I have looked into it and I am.

It upsets me that I'm the first, when you think that it's 2014. When will there be an openly gay professional footballer?

I hope it's this year. I'd like to think the world has its eyes open enough that, when it happens, people will think: "Right, he's gay. Who cares?"

The Scottish Wrestling Alliance's 10th anniversary show is at Motherwell Concert Hall today.

See scottishwrestling.co.uk

Interviewed by Simon Gwynn

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