The WWE Hall of Famer explained:
“No one knew I was gay, I was just a young guy, but I knew I was not attracted by girls, no way. The first time I did something with a guy, it felt good to be caressed, to be held and squeezed, do you know what I mean? It felt good to me.”
Patterson then revealed the heart-breaking story of his parent’s reaction to the news:
“But anyway, I was so excited, I’d wake my Mum and Dad up at 1 in the morning and I want to tell them the good news, that I’m in love. My mother was, well, I’m happy for that, you didn’t have to wake us up. I said, ‘no, I said, I’m in love with a guy, mom’. My Dad went crazy, he says, we’re not going to have no queer in this house, You’re going to have to get out of here, and my mother said, you can’t do that. My mother was crying. I said, no, don’t worry about it, I’ll leave, don’t worry, I’ll leave. I left.”
“I was 16 years old, and he told me, don’t come and knock on the door, I didn’t. I found a big suitcase in the garbage, tied it up with a rope, then I took a Greyhound bus. My sister gave me twenty dollars, I went to Boston.”
The inaugural Intercontinental Champion did not find acceptance at home but would in Boston. He met wrestling promoter, Tony Santos and debuted in 1958. His long in-ring career finally ended in 1987. Patterson then began an even more successful post wrestling career as a road agent and Vince McMahon’s right hand man.
He is credited with inventing the Royal Rumble match in 1988 as well as laying out numerous classic matches over the course of the next three decades.
Patterson sadly passed away on December 2, 2020 at the age of 79.
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h/t to Fightful for transcription