AceShowbiz - Gabbi Tuft wants the world to know the real her. On Thursday, February 4, the former WWE superstar came out as transgender, and revealed that she has gone through eight months of emotional turmoil before finding the courage to introduce this side of herself that has been hidden.
"This is me. Unashamed, unabashedly me," wrote the 42-year-old on Instagram alongside a photo of herself sitting in front of an old wrestling photo. "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."
Declaring that she is "no longer afraid" and "no longer fearful," the retired wrestler previously known as Tyler Reks stated, "I can now say with confidence, that I love myself for WHO I am." He added, "The previous eight months have been some of the darkest of my entire life. The emotional turmoil of being transgender and having to face the world has almost ended me on multiple occasions."
In her lengthy statement, the San Francisco-born wrester additionally thanked her "loving wife" Priscilla, whom she has been married to since 2002, her family and her closest friends for accepting her for who she is. "To them, I am forever grateful. Your support along the way means more than you will ever know," she stressed.
Gabbi further acknowledged that not everyone will agree or understand her coming out. "It's not my place to change any of your core beliefs. Just know that the outer shell may change, but the soul remains the same," she noted. Yet, she promised "to always be transparent and truthful with [her] journey, and to be a light to those that are in need."
Near the end of her post, Gabbi pointed out that she will answer questions regarding his gender transition in an in-depth interview with Billy Bush which will air on Extra on Friday, February 5. She additionally noted that she is "waiting for Instagram to approve my name change and update the bio - please see my story for the link in the meantime."
Since retiring from professional wrestling in 2014, Gabbi created fitness company Body Spartan with her wife. Together with Priscilla, she also shares a 9-year-old daughter Mia.