Photo: Instagram [@bowens_official]

Anthony Bowens shared a defiant kiss in front of a crowd of anti-LGBTQ+ protesters holding homophobic signs.

In an Instagram post on 5 December, the All Elite Wrestling star shared an image of him sharing a kiss with his boyfriend Michael Pavano.

Although the time and location of the kiss is not clear, a group of protesters can be seen behind the couple, with one holding a sign reading: “HOMOS GO TO HELL: Repent. Obey Jesus.”

Another sign demanded a ban on “homo marriage” and pledged support to ex-President of the United States Donald Trump, who last year became the first incumbent president to lose reelection since George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Bowens simply captioned the image: “Stand up against hate.”

His boyfriend commented on the post with a heartfelt message: “I love you forever & always.”

Since coming out as bisexual in 2017 before sharing that he is gay two years later, Bowens has frequently used his platform to champion LGBTQ+ rights and equality.

Two years ago, he told Sports Illustrated: “I’m representing the LGBT+ community and athletes that are LGBT+, but even more than that, too. I’m representing the small-town kid who was told he’d never make it, and I’m here for the shy kid that is ready to burst out of his shell and be that social butterfly.”


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He continued: “To know that I’m having a positive impact on people is a blessing, and makes me feel that I made the right decision to come out.”

In a video titled ‘COMING OUT… again’, the 30-year-old admitted that he wasn’t attracted to men until he was “midway through high school”, where he had a dream about one of his friends that made him think: “Ooh, something’s different here.”

“I came out as bisexual, which was a very real thing,” he said in the video. “I identified as bisexual because I really didn’t know much about the LGBTQ community. I didn’t really dive into much because I was closeted.

“So the closest thing that I knew that I could relate to based upon that time period of my life was bisexual.”

He added that he is in love with his current partner and pictures being with him for the rest of his life, so he no longer identifies with the term bisexual: “I now feel more comfortable labelling myself as gay.”