OUTshine Film Festival Announces First Openly Gay WWE Wrestler as Vanguard Award Winner

The OUTshine Film Festival is excited to announce Fred Rosser (former WWE superstar Darren Young) as the Celebrity Talent Vanguard Award winner for OUTShine Miami’s 2019 season.

The awards ceremony will take place at the Closing Party on Sunday, April 28 when he will also be receiving the Key to the City.

Before that special event, Rosser can be seen at several screenings and events leading up to the award show, including OUTshine’s Centerpiece Party on Wednesday, April 24; the Men’s Spotlight Film & Party on Thursday, April 25; and the GVSC sponsored film- Sauvauge on Friday, April 26.

OUTshine’s Vanguard Award is given every season to celebrity talent who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and support of education, equality, and representation, for the LGBTQ communities. Previous Vanguard winners include actor Tommy Dorfman and director Travis Mathews.  Previous Ally Award winners include Gloria & Emilio Estefan and James Franco.

Already a formidable star in the ring, Rosser rose to further prominence by announcing on the celebrity news and gossip show TMZ that he was gay. The casual declaration sent waves through the sports, entertainment and LGBTQ communities. By doing so, Mr. Rosser made history by becoming the first openly gay “active” professional wrestler (in WWE).

I want to be remembered as a good human being who was the first in an industry to pave the way for LGBTQ athletes in wrestling and beyond to come out and live an honest and authentic life,” Rosser said. “Being the first openly gay wrestler [in WWE], I’ve been able to encourage and inspire wrestling fans all over the world to chase their dreams. I’ve been able to show other LGBTQ athletes that they have a duty to instill confidence in the youth and to lead by example.

Rosser, who has roots in Florida, and used to live in Miami Beach, also founded the #BlockTheHate movement, which seeks to inspire others to be comfortable in their own skin. Rosser is using social media campaigns, TV appearances, and educational speaking events to ensure that the rights of young LGBTQ people are secured for today and future generations.

About OUTshine Film Festival

The OUTshine LGBT Film Festival is a bi-annual film festival with a mission to inspire, entertain, and educate the public and encourage a sense of community through international and culturally diverse film, video and other media that offer historical and contemporary perspectives on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience. It’s created in part with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

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