Wrestling News

Former WWE Star Gabbi Tuft Talks In-Depth About Her Gender Transition

Gabbi Tuft

Gabbi Tuft, former WWE Superstar, has appeared on Renee Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast to discuss in detail her transition since coming out publicly as trans earlier this year.

Paquette begins by asking Tuft how she has been feeling since making her public announcement. Tuft explains:

“I feel great. It’s been probably the most freeing two weeks of my life. When the news hit on the 4th or 5th [of February] I felt liberated. I didn’t have to hide anymore, I could walk outside, my neighbours were just waving like ‘hi Gabbi, good to see you.’ So the hiding was over. It was like my prison sentence was over.”

Gabbi was then asked what the weeks leading up to making her public announcement were like. Gabbi explains, referencing a countdown she put on social media in the lead up to it:

“That countdown I did on Instagram – I felt so moved to do. I’ve got a very artistic side and it was so deep. It was like I was letting go of the last bit of male that I was attached to. So by posting those countdown photos I was able to relay to the world all those incredible things I’ve learned as a male throughout my whole life. I just felt it was a wonderful opportunity to share. Every night when I wrote the post I would be a soppy mess of tears – happy tears. I was letting go of Gabe and welcoming Gabbi in. So it was good.”

Tuft then revealed she had left clues in some of her countdown pictures as to the announcement she would be making:

“I’ll tell you a quick secret though that I don’t think anybody knows. I posted it on my stories recently but I don’t think everybody picked up on it. On countdown photos 10, 9, and 8 I hid a picture of me presenting female in the eyes on 10 and 8, and also on the helmet visor on the motorcycle picture. So she was always there.”

“I’d been waiting since early December. The coming out video I filmed in early December. I was gonna let that go just to control the narrative but then my news got to the right people and I realised there was a much bigger platform. So here I sat for almost two months like ‘I’m going nuts,’ so I snuck that in there…It’s like the ultimate kayfabe.”

Discussing the reaction from her friends and family, she recalls:

“Before the news broke I had slowly told everybody one at a time. As hard as it was for me to tell my friends and family, which seemed like this huge mountain I had to climb. It seemed impossible when I was preparing to do it. But the reaction was overwhelming love and support, just the same thing that we’ve seen since I’ve gone public where it’s just an outpouring of love from the entire world.”

“It was the same way with my parents, it was the same way – gosh, I told Brandon and Howard from Body Spartan first, they’re like my best buddies. They just opened armed it. Later that night I told Brian Cage and the same thing, he’s like ‘I don’t care, I love you man, it doesn’t matter what you wanna be. Curveball but hey, I love you.’ So that was it, just love and support from everybody.”

Renee Paquette would then ask Tuft if there was any hesitation on her part about being so open about her journey, she replied:

“Zero hesitation. That was the crazy part, there was zero hesitation. I had been through so much. I don’t even know how to describe it. Pain, emotional stress, trauma, just feeling like I couldn’t tell the world about this. And I was hiding this for so long when I was ready and I knew that it was gonna go public. At that point, I thought ‘I have nothing to hide.’ The more transparent I am with this, the more I believe it’s gonna help other people. So not only other transgender men and women that are suffering the same way I was. But the rest of the world, just having a little bit of insight on how things really are.”

“A lot of transgender women, they don’t wanna show – like the post I put up two days ago with like no makeup, no hair, it’s like here we go, F-it, let’s put this up – let’s be super vulnerable…I think that’s what every transgender woman would like to present as. Like ok here’s my female side but there’s this struggle when I get up and look in the mirror and I’m not there yet. I’m getting there. I know the path is long and I know it’s difficult but I’m gonna share it with you guys and girls and if you can relate maybe we can save a life.”

“I hope to be as transparent and truthful as possible. Answer every question anyone would ever want to ask and just let it be a flood of information.”

Gabbi then detailed part of the transitioning process for her and how she decided to be ‘all-in’:

“I was ready, I was a hundred percent ready. Again, I think it’s important, we talked about this on my podcast and I talked about it in the coming out video. Gabe and Gabbi are the same person – it’s just the presentation of male or female…Gabe’s not dead, I’m still the same person, I’m presenting female and this is my female side. So bringing Gabbi ‘into the light’ and letting her be the presentation that was the difficult part because I was so fearful and scared of what the world would think.”

“But when I was ready, I literally thought it was gonna be this long, drawn-out process. Where I slowly present a little more here and there, and inside it just felt so wrong. I need to go all-in or nothing. And I was just all-in. We cleared all of my boy clothes out of the closet last week, we purged everything. It wasn’t just ‘oh we should keep this, I’m like ‘no everything goes, I don’t wanna see any more boy clothes in my closet at all. I’m done.'”

Paquette then asked Gabbi when she first realised she wanted to transition to female, Tuft responded:

“Probably about 3 years ago is when we first kind of started experimenting with me wearing female clothes. I don’t think I really had the desire until last year during COVID and we had the lockdowns, I was starting to get dressed up every night and then it was the pain of taking off the hair, taking off the make-up, and realising I really feel like presenting male was the show. I wasn’t living my reality and it slowly became harder and harder, I don’t remember the exact day but it was just me basically going ‘this isn’t right, I wanna stay female, everything feels right, everything feels good, I can express myself emotionally.’ So I would say maybe midsummer when I kinda had that realisation.”

Tuft would then recall how she first told her wife of how she felt:

“She had noticed like ‘you’re really getting into this, this is a thing, you’re heading that way’ before I really had recognised that this is what I wanted to do. I was fighting it tooth and nail, I was almost embarrassed and ashamed because society says ‘boys don’t become girls.'”

“So it was a series of conversations where I know she knew. Like she knew deep down inside and here’s how I know. She had called her mom and was talking to her and told her mom early on over the summer. This was disclosed to me later but she said ‘this is happening more and more and I think there’s gonna be a point where Gabe doesn’t come back, I think he’s going to stay presenting as a girl.'”

“So we had all these conversations and one day she had mentioned to me about still seeing the female in her mind in the daytime. So I took that as like, I gotta stop this crazy fetish, so that was the moment like I said on my coming out video I went and I tried to kill Gabbi. I shot up a bunch of steroids and I could just feel Gabbi’s light going out. That’s the thing I needed to do, just go be masculine and bury the feminine side.”

Gabbi continued:

“So I got really depressed. The same thing, I walked into the closet, I mentioned this many times in the coming out video, I would see my clothes and my wigs and I just got more and more depressed every day. To the point where Priscilla [Gabbi’s wife] noticed and she had to have a conversation. It was so bad, it was hard to breathe, there was like a weight around my heart pulling me down. [Priscilla] just came to me one day and said ‘hey babe, is there something you need to tell me.’ I shook my head ‘yeah, let’s go talk.'”

“And so we sat on the front porch, we had fought the night before. We had a pretty good-sized argument so we kinda hashed that out and it was more of me just apologising for everything. I was just so depressed about everything that I had just kinda flown off the handle so to speak.”

“It was just emotions. I had anger, I had depression, I had sadness. I just didn’t know what was going on so when I apologised it kinda caught her off guard. She’s like ‘oh ok something’s going on.’ And she said ‘what is it you need to tell me? This is a safe space.’ I tried so hard to just blurt it out, I knew if I didn’t say it, it was either that or shoot myself in my head. I couldn’t go on anymore.”

She would then talk more in-depth about some of the dark thoughts she had dealt with prior to this:

“Literally, I had been through the visions in my head. I didn’t want to. My brother committed suicide in 2013 so I know what it does to family and friends. I’ve got my lovely nine-year-old daughter, I’ve got my wife and here I am thinking like I can’t leave them. But the pain, the emotional pain was so overwhelming thinking that who I really was was stuck inside and I can’t be that person.”

“So slowly I had these visions of me just picking up my – I’ve got so many handguns and other firearms. My daily carry is a Glock so I just would see the Glock and I would look at it. I would see visions in my head of me walking outside to my backyard and putting it to my head and pulling the trigger…So it was tell [Priscilla] now or I would have a bullet in my head in a day or two. So I just told her. She looked at me and said ‘baby I know, I love you, things are gonna change but we’ll figure it out.'”

Gabbi Tuft again reiterated her reason for being so transparent in sharing her story with the world:

“Here’s why I’m being so transparent. If that had gone a different way I probably wouldn’t be here. It was only two days ago when I got a message and I’d been speaking with a person on the internet for about 3 or 4 days. They had a cousin who was transgender, trying to transition male to female. They had mentioned that this person was having a really difficult time. And I reached out and said please have your cousin message me or please give me her Instagram or whatever it takes. I will message her and talk to her. I’d love to have the opportunity just to let her know everything’s ok. That there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

“We had a great three-hour conversation. She watched my coming out video, it sounded like she was back on track. I said ‘hey if you need to talk, I’m here.’ I got a message, yesterday or the day before and she committed suicide. It was too hard for her. Not that I could have stopped it but that’s how important support is. That’s how important understanding is. I was hours too late communicating and I just think if she heard our podcast or if she had seen a different video or if she had been able to see more transparency maybe we could’ve changed that. That’s what I really, really wanna do and that’s why the support is so important.”

Gabbi then recounts some of the feedback she has had since coming out:

“Some people were so moved by the story they decided to come out to their family. One trans girl, she had to move out, her family would not accept her but she’s free. She’s free to live her own life. It’s difficult, she even said it was difficult but she’s free. She can express herself, it’s out there and if they love her, they’ll eventually accept her.”

Tuft then discussed the process that she will follow in the lead up to her potential surgeries:

“It can take up to 3 to 5 years for the oestrogen to shift fat deposits. For it to soften the skin, to grow breasts…As far as the surgeries go I have spoken with Dr. Harrison Lees team out in Beverley Hills. He did [former bodybuilder] Janae Marie’s facial feminisation surgery…The results are just amazing. I’m pretty stuck on that. I need to save some money so it kinda depends on when that happens. I wanna do it all at once, that’s the one thing that the girls have said. If they could go back and do it all over again, they wouldn’t piecemeal it because it’s so painful. You don’t wanna go under too many times, so if I can do it one time, I’d do it all.”

She then recounts how she feels in dealing with other’s opinions both before coming out and since making her public announcement:

“I was nervous every time I’d go out. Whether it was a neighbour would see me who didn’t know what was going on. Or I’d go to the grocery store and try to integrate and, you see a trans girl going into a store you clock her instantly. A lot of people think ‘what is she doing? Is she trying to make me feel uncomfortable?'”

“For me, I had to re-learn social integration, social behaviour patterns. [For] when people would look at me and have a strange look. I needed to understand what kind of looks I was gonna get. Do I use my trans voice which is higher or do I use a lower voice; do I not say anything. That’s a dead giveaway…So I’d wear tight girls jeans and like a women’s top that was more in-between but no hair, no make-up but my nails were always done.”

“I was like ‘I’m here, I’ve got nails, I’m something in-between.’ When I would go to the store I would hide them. Especially if like some big manly man was around me, I’d get nervous and tuck in and pull my nails in.”

“So there’s lots of fear and it really wasn’t until the day I came out, I remember walking out of my house and we went to my neighbour’s house to watch the interview because I don’t have cable. I let everything fly, I held my head up, my hair used to be in my face all the time, I would wear a mask even when I didn’t need one, I wouldn’t want people to see my face. I held my head up high, pulled my shoulders back, nails out, hair out of my face and I just didn’t care. From that point on I have never cared.”

Gabbi then goes on to discuss how her relationship with her wife has changed throughout this transition:

“We are closer than ever. It’s crazy. We connect on a very deep, emotional level that I did not allow myself to feel before. So days and nights go by where we will sit…until like 3 in the morning and just talk. We’ll sit until late at night and we’ll just talk about everything. Things I couldn’t express as a man. Ways that I’m feeling, ways that she’s feeling. Spiritual things, funt things that happened in our day and it has brought us so much closer.”

Finally, Gabbi Tuft explains the biggest misconceptions she has faced since coming out:

“I think the only major misconception or assumption is that I’m gay. I’m not. People will automatically assume that I like guys but I don’t, I’m still straight. I love my wife, I’m still very attracted to females. I’m this weird, kind of like, strange phenomenon where you think that most men that decide to transition to female. It’s because they want the full female experience. And they start [out] being gay or they were drag queens and they just decided to transition over. With me? No, not like that. Not like that at all. So, I’m not gay, I’m straight. that’s probably the biggest misconception.”

Credit: Oral Sessions