Full Queer puts the West Coast’s LGBTQ pro wrestling community center stage

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Full Queer
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Out pro wrestler and Full Queer producer “Marcomania” Marco Rodriguez wants to highlight growing LGBTQ wrestlers while sparking conversations about LGBTQ history.

More and more the refrain from the LGBTQ pro wrestling community for the greater pro wrestling world to honor and highlight its LGBTQ voices beyond Pride month rings louder in the industry’s ears.

But that doesn’t mean that the community itself doesn’t see Pride month as a fond time to start and continue the work of carving out their own spaces.

The upcoming Full Queer event proves such a case. The brainchild of out pro wrestler “Marcomania” Marco Rodriguez and allies D-Rogue and Juicy Finau, Full Queer is an event more than a year in the making aiming to highlight popular figures, rising stars and emerging names from the West Coast’s LGBTQ pro wrestling community.

According to Rodriguez, Full Queer was initially planned for Pride 2020 after his trainer, Rick Luxury, told him about the idea. Putting the event on ice for a year gave Rodriguez time to brainstorm what the show’s purpose should be.

“I think the idea this year was, let’s focus this more on putting out lesser known or lesser established LGBTQ talent and really make it about this movement,” Rodriguez told Outsports. “If you would have taken last year, Funny Bone was going to have a really big match. Fred Rosser too. Guys like that were going to be our big-name draws. So, we thought like, with this coming back, why not have it be more focused on telling different stories and getting other names known from the community.”

Looking at the card, it appears that the goal has been met. Headlining Full Queer is a one-night tournament to crown the first Princex of Pride champion. The field features Great Bambina, Keita Murray, Mariah Moreno, Brittany Wonder, Da Shade, Jet Jameson, Abigail Warren and J.M.M., all vying to win an “unapologetically super queer,” gender-neutral title designed by Rodriguez himself.

But crowning a champion is only one of Full Queer’s goals. Rodriguez sees the event as an avenue to educate audiences on queer history as well.

A multi-person scramble match featuring out wrestlers Sandra Moone and Saint Synclair bears the name of Bay area hero and LGBTQ rights activist Harvey Milk. The pre-show battle royal is named in honor of trailblazing drag and disco artist Sylvester.

Even the Princex of Pride title itself reflects a push for conversations around queer identities. The name was suggested by Rodriguez’s drag mother.

“There are people who have no idea who these local icons in our community are. Obviously, Harvey Milk came to fame in San Francisco and Sylvester was, we’ll say genderqueer, before there was any kind of non-binary or genderfluid,” Rodriguez said. “To be able to include these icons in our show and kind of tell their history a little bit was also very important to me.”

The addition, wrestling personality, journalist and drag queen dujour Pollo Del Mar as Full Queer’s host speaks to that local history too, and her involvement holds special personal meaning to Rodriguez.

The two bonded over their love of pro wrestling while working in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood. Rodriguez was a fixture at pro wrestling charity shows Pollo Del Mar promoted, and they would prove to be the push he needed to begin training as a wrestler.

“As soon as [D-Rogue and Finau] approached me to do the show, I told everybody we can’t do the show without Pollo Del Mar,” Rodriguez said. “When I found out that Pollo was a huge wrestling nerd like me, it was an instant connection. … If it wasn’t for those wrestling for charity shows, I probably wouldn’t have started training.”

A number of top West Coast pro wrestling names, LGBTQ and ally alike, are also scheduled to step into the ring at Full Queer, including Dave Turner, Adriel Noctis, Jody, Lazarus, Jai Vidal and Midas Creed. The roster reads as a who’s who of a growing pro wrestling region that is overdue for a breakout on its own ground.

Many of the events that have catalyzed LGBTQ pro wrestling’s rise have taken place on the East Coast. Though some of those on Full Queer’s card were part of those shows, the West Coast hasn’t enjoyed the same profile in that time, especially with Dark Sheik’s Hoodslam promotion suspending events due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rodriguez believes Full Queer will be that proving ground.

“We were tired of NorCal wrestling getting slept on and people discrediting us,” Rodriguez said.

“I think it ties into what we’re trying to do with the show by really highlighting how much talent there is on the West Coast. We have people coming in from San Diego, Los Angeles, Reno, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Oregon. We’re making our own opportunities since we’re not getting on these shows that are on the East Coast. It’s just a matter of time, honestly, before a number of us show up on the EFFY, MV Young and Billy Dixon shows.”

Full Queer will take place on Sunday, June 20, at 4:30pm PT from the East Bay Pro Wrestling Academy in Pacheco, Calif., and will broadcast live on the event’s official Facebook page.

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