Secret Story Time Bonus Episode: The Saga of GOLDUST: How The WWE Turned Homophobia Into Dollar Signs
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This episode was written as an epic Pride Season gift to our beloved Patreon subscribers, but given recent Supreme Court rulings and the fresh wave of anti-LGBTQ+ mouth diarrhea that SCOTUS fuckery spawned, it seemed an important story to release into the wild.
Because while it might sound like a joke, few things are more epic, gayer, AND more prescient in these polarized times than the largely forgotten sliver of wildly queer pro wrestling history called “The Goldust Era,” which officially began on October 15, 1995.
There’s even a hero in this salacious tale of WWE executives exploiting homophobia for profit: Dustin Runnels, veteran pro wrestling superstar and outspoken advocate for LGBTQ folk. Runnels’ arc from a wounded little boy to Southern American hero, to the most hated man in wrestling, to redeemed role model and father of a trans kid is equal parts heartwarming and unhinged and is compelling even if you’ve never once watched a body slam live on Pay Per View. It’s also a major thread in pro wrestling’s long history of selling the gayest heat imaginable to audiences that, by and large, see themselves as heterosexual patriots with no ties to the LGBTQ community, despite participating in one of the most homoerotic art forms on the planet.
Heads Up: There’s hate speech and LGBTQ slurs in this episode, and not because we condone it. (People really said some wild
shit on TV in the 90s.)