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Posted in Interview Recaps by Jack at 08:22, Nov 11 2023

Recap of OUT IN THE RING on In Your Head Wrestling Radio, 11/07/2023

by Vic Schiavone

Hosts Jack E. Jones and One Inch Biceps welcomed director Ry Levey and wrestlers Reiza Clarke and Mike Parrow from the new documentary about LGBTQIA+ representation in pro wrestling historically and today OUT IN THE RING.

Highlights included the following:

· JEJ: For people not aware yet, can you give them an idea of what OUT IN THE RING is?

RL: “Sure. OUT IN THE RING is a documentary that chronicles the history of LGBTQIA+ representation in professional wrestling going back to the 1940s all the way through to today’s contemporary boom of professional wrestlers. I was able to interview many of these amazing people including the two lovely human beings that are joining us today: Reiza Clarke and Mike Parrow.”

· JEJ: So how did you get involved in the project?

RC: “It was early 2020. Ry actually came down to San Antonio and taped a show that I was on and did some interviews there. I was just really excited that he reached back out to me to do some supplemental stuff for the documentary.”

MP: “I had actually just come out and he reached out to me and I happened to get his e-mail (at the time I was getting a whole bunch of e-mails from everybody either congratulating me or asking questions or saying they went through the same experiences). I happened to read Ry’s; he reached out and was like ‘Hey, I’m doing this project would you be interested?’. I was like ‘Yeah, sure, why not; everyone knows I’m gay now.’. It was like my biggest fear and now I was like, wow.”

· JEJ: Ry, when you were putting it together, how did you go about finding the right people for the film?

RL: “Well, it was really a matter of discovering people who were out or that we could start talking to. When I started conceiving the project just as an idea in 2015, there was not a lot of representation yet. Then in 2017 I filmed a local journeyman wrestler who trained out of Minnesota named Scott McEwan who wrestled as Sgt. Dickson. Then as 2017 went along, we saw wrestlers like Mike (Parrow) and Charlie Morgan out of the UK coming out and sharing stories. As time went on, we started to see people boldly stepping forward living in their truth making space for themselves. In the case of Reiza (Clarke), we had shot out in a promotion in Texas, and I was so drawn to her personality and just how warm and interesting she was that I wanted to

make sure we included more of her story. I was able to interview these amazing people along with so many others who just really gave perspectives and shared their stories.”

· JEJ: I noticed the Game Changer (Wrestling) hat on Mike, and that’s a big part of the documentary. I think some people think of Game Changer, if they don’t watch it or maybe see just a little bit of it, as hardcore stuff and I don’t think they realize the different characters there and how diverse the cast of people in Game Changer Wrestling is.

MP: “Well, I will say this personally because I work there, but it is one of the most inclusive locker rooms I’ve ever been a part of. Your sexuality doesn’t matter. They don’t gender-jail women like I like to call it because in professional wrestling there’s this belief that women can’t wrestle men, aren’t as good as men, are weaker than men. At Game Changer they don’t do that; everybody’s a fighter. If you want to step in the ring, you step in the ring. It’s the most welcoming place I’ve ever been involved in; I’ll say that.”

· JEJ: Ry, you said you started thinking about the film in 2015. How long of a process was it once you really got started making it?

RL: “We filmed the first interview with Scott (McEwan) in August 2017, and we continued to shoot the main shooting until 2019. Right around the time of the pandemic, we had to pivot a little bit and remove some people who we just felt were problematic and were going to overshadow the story that we were trying to tell here...I didn’t want the talents of these amazing wrestlers to be overshadowed by one individual who just happened to have done something. As we edited, we really wanted to include more stories and more diversity. The face of wrestling was changing. The pandemic required a lot of wrestlers to get very creative in terms of the way that they kept themselves relevant on social media. Twitch became a huge thing for many wrestlers and it was just such a time that by the time we were coming out of the pandemic (and we’d seen so many interesting ways for promotions to keep wrestling) there was just this huge boom of out performers who were willing to step forward and the opportunities for them were increasing. Not necessarily at the top of the card, per se, but certainly on the independent circuit we were seeing a lot more independent promotions and events that were highlighting out wrestling performers. So, all in all it was about a five-year process from August 2017 till we were able to premiere in 2022.”

Other topics discussed included:

· Why do they feel there are no realistic gay storylines in professional wrestling?

· How does it make them feel to see the traditional presentation of gay wrestlers in professional wrestling?

· What did they think when they saw the movie for the first time?

The world broadcast premiere of OUT IN THE RING will be on Wednesday, November 15th, at 9:00 P.M. Eastern on Fuse TV and their streaming platform Fuse Plus. For further information on the movie, follow them on Instagram (outintheringdoc), X/Twitter (outinthering), or go to their website at outinthering.com

This interview is available at

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