Thursday 6 October 2016

Book ~ "Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE" (2016) Pat Patterson

From Goodreads ~When Pat Patterson was 17 years old, he was asked to leave his home after telling his parents he was in love ... with a man. Moving from Montreal to the United States in the 1960s, barely knowing a word of English, he was determined to succeed in the squared circle. Back when homophobia was widespread, Pat lived in the super-macho world of pro wrestling.

In this fascinating and revealing memoir of revolutionary talent, pioneer, and creative savant Patterson recalls the trials and tribulations of climbing to the upper ranks of sports-entertainment - as a performer and, later as a backstage creative force.

Many in the WWE Universe know Pat Patterson as a ring legend, the prestigious first holder of WWE’s Intercontinental Championship, a WWE Hall of Famer, and one of Vince McMahon’s “stooges” during the Attitude Era. But Patterson is no stooge. He has long been one of Vince McMahon’s trusted advisors. Still active in WWE today, Pat delivers his no-holds-barred story of going from unknown to WWE luminary.

Pat Patterson was born Pierre Clermont, one of nine kids, 75 years ago in Montreal.  He always knew he was different and it wasn't until he discovered wrestling that he found his passion in life.  When he was in his late teens, he revealed to his parents that he was gay and his father asked him to leave.  Pierre borrowed some money from one of his sisters and headed to Boston, speaking very little English, to pursue his dream of being a wrestler.  Over the next 50+ years, he won many championships and eventually became a colour commentator and the right hand man to Vince McMahon, owner and CEO of  the WWE.

This is Pat's story.  He talks about being on the road and his interactions with many wrestlers from the 1960s right up to today.  He was/is quite the prankster and jokester.  He talks of meeting the love of his life, Louie, when they were young and spending 40 years together before Louie passed away in the late 1990s (he is still missed).  In those days, one didn't acknowledge being gay and Louie was referred to as his friend (Pat came out as gay publicly in 2014).

I'm not a big wrestling fan (though I did watch it in the 1970s and 1980s and even went to Wrestlemania VI here in Toronto in 1990) but I thought his story would be interesting and it was.  Because I haven't tuned in wrestling in many years, I hadn't heard of some of the current wrestlers and didn't get the references to things like WWE Legends House.

 As a head's up, there is swearing.

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