Pat Patterson’s passing on December 2, 2020, hit the pro wrestling world in huge way. Thousands of posts flooded social media, paying tribute to the great man we lost. He was instrumental in producing Royal Rumble matches for years, and he was a mainstay backstage in the company. When he passed away, Bruce Prichard remembered the man he knew that actually changed the way he saw the world.
Pat Patterson was openly gay. His sexuality was a significant aspect of his life and identity, and he was one of the first individuals in the wrestling industry to come out publicly. Patterson’s openness about his sexual orientation marked a significant step forward in promoting LGBTQ+ visibility and acceptance within the world of professional wrestling. His courage and authenticity in embracing his identity continue to serve as a source of inspiration for others in the industry and beyond. Through it all, he remains an intrical part of WWE for decades.
During a recent installment of the Something to Wrestle podcast, Bruce Prichard made a candid revelation about his past views on homosexuality. He openly admitted that he held prejudiced beliefs and was homophobic before he had the opportunity to develop a close friendship with the late Pat Patterson.
“I was homophobic until I met Pat Patterson. It was coming from a place of fear and ignorance on my part. Never being educated, never knowing anyone to know that, ‘Well, wait a minute. They’re just people, they have a different preference than you. Some like Coke, some like Pepsi.’ When it gets down to it, that’s kind of what it is, guys. Pat was proactive about it and went to Roy [Shire, AWA founder] and says, ‘You’re gonna hear a lot of things about me, I’m gonna tell you straight up, I’m gay. I have a friend of mine [Louie Dondero] that lives with me … If you have a problem with that, I’ll leave tonight.’ Pat and Louie helped me with that so much. They made everything so normal.“
Bruce Prichard acknowledged that his perspective on homosexuality began to evolve and change once he had the chance to know Pat Patterson on a personal level. The bond they shared helped Prichard challenge and ultimately overcome his deep-seated prejudice. Only time will tell if there will ever be a trailblazer like Pat Patterson again, but it will be nearly impossible to replace him.
Pat Patterson left a huge mark on the pro wrestling business during his time on earth. He took part in so many memorable moments in WWE history from his backstage work, being the first Intercontinental Champion, or even as a stooge later on during the Attitude Era. He will be remembered for many things, but Bruce Prichard knew him as a close friend.
What memory about Pat Patterson will you never forget? Let us know what comes to mind in the comments section!