WWE star comes out as transgender
Former WWE wrestler Gabbi Tuft came out as transgender this week, calling her personal saga a "thrilling story of gender transitioning."
Tuft - who wrestled professionally under the name Tyler Reks in the late 2000s and early 2010s - shared the news in a press release Thursday.
The former WWE star also teased an extended interview set to air Friday on "Extra."AMAZING DEAL: $1 for 28 days for local news, great rewards
"Gabbi is about to share her thrilling story of gender transitioning from a former WWE Superstar, Body Builder, Fitness Guru, Motivational Speaker and Motorcycle Racer to a fun-loving and fabulous female," the release reads.
"She has been finally set free and is ready to rule her world."
Tuft, who was active in WWE from 2007 to 2014, seemingly revealed her transition to fans on Instagram a day earlier, with a recent photo of herself sitting next to an old photo from her wrestling days.
"This is me. Unashamed, unabashedly me. This is the side of me that has hidden in the shadows, afraid and fearful of what the world would think; afraid of what my family, friends, and followers would say or do," the post was captioned.
Since wrestling in the WWE, the 42-year-old started a fitness company called Body Spartan with her wife, Priscilla, with whom she has a 9-year-old daughter, Mia.
Tuft wrote that the last eight months have been some of the darkest in her life, but credits her family for getting her through it.
"However, the day I stopped caring about what other people thought, was the day I truly became limitless and allowed my authentic self to come into the light," she wrote.
"My loving wife, family, and closest friends have accepted me for who I am. To them, I am forever grateful. Your support along the way means more than you will ever know."
A day after her big reveal, Tuft posted another emotional message to Instagram.
"As I write this my eyes are welling up with uncontrollable tears of joy. The incredible outpouring of support from thousands of people I've never met is an illustration of just how much love there is in this world," she wrote.
"Yesterday, as I fully embraced my authentic self, neighbours went out of their way to ring my doorbell and drop off cards, flowers, and give hugs and support; I was showered with an unimaginable amount of love and encouragement every time I picked up my phone; and my uncontrollable smile you saw yesterday was directly from my soul.
"As I walked to my neighbour's house yesterday, and for the first time since I began my transition, instead of walking with my head down in fear - I held it high, my fingers were no longer clenched and hiding my nails, and my hair was no longer hiding my face.
"Thank you to everyone that has reached out in support. You have reaffirmed what I already knew, which is that we as humans truly are beings of love and light. Thank you for seeing my heart. I love you all and I am grateful beyond words for each and every one of you."
- New York Post
Originally published as WWE star comes out as transgender