A former WWE pro wrestler and fitness personality has come out as transgender. Gabbi Tuft (ring name Tyler Reks) announced her transition in a powerful statement on social media. Tuft revealed that despite her success in the wrestling world, taking part in TV events such as “Raw,” “Smackdown” and “Wrestlemania,” she had been struggling with a secret.
“This is a persona she has been hiding in the loud silence of her soul since childhood,” read the statement, which Tuft shared on Twitter. “Finally, with the blessing of her loving wife Priscilla, Gabbi is ready to reveal who she really is. Now known as she/her: A beautiful, wise, witty and wonderful woman.”
In the days leading up to her statement, Tuft had hinted at a big change. As part of a 10-day countdown, she posted a moving message and image on her social media pages.
On Feb. 1, she wrote, “5 days remaining — ‘Capture the moment.’ Most of us, right now, are currently living our life through a lens. Be it the lens on our phones or our tablets, we tend to capture what we feel are special moments in time through a piece of glass.” The photograph had Tuft holding a camera and showing off long painted nails.
Tuft, who has a 9-year-old daughter, also posted a coming-out video to Instagram that she said was filmed in December, noting that she experienced some inner turmoil about putting it up because “I’ve made so many physical changes since then,” and wished to present as more visibly female. However, the video allowed her to “mentally revisit that moment and bask in the joy and genuine happiness I was experiencing when I told my story for the very first time,” Tuft said.
In an interview with “Extra” with Priscilla by her side, Tuft talked about what the transition had been like and about inspiring others to be authentic.
“With everything that I’m going through and that I have been through, knowing how emotionally distressful it can be, because like I said, there have been some dark nights, I promise that I will share my story because knowing that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel can just be that ray of hope that keeps somebody with us, that keeps them alive, and lets them know, ‘Yes, I can do this, too,'” Tuft said.