Thursday nights are often an unofficial way to usher in the weekend. So when deciding on options consider this: one that will give you a high-energy visual feast while also supporting important LGBT programs in South Florida.
“Wrestling with Pride” makes its way to Wilton Manors for the first time Feb. 22. And while the name might suggest some kind of therapeutic or counseling session — don’t be fooled — these are men in tights and thin-strapped singlets throwing each other around on stage for your viewing pleasure.
The Pride Center At Equality Park is the host and the beneficiary of the event. The Pride Center marks its 25th year in operation in 2018, offering a variety of programs and services for the LGBT community.
Wrestling with Pride will not only offer the ringside visuals, but will host a silent auction to help bolster the nonprofit’s wide menu of options from helping seniors find affordable housing, to important intervention programs and crucial HIV and hepatitis C testing sites.
Stephen Driscoll, the president and CEO of NewPro Wrestling and BGEast Wrestling, successfully pitched the idea for the event to officials at The Pride Center recently.
Driscoll said wrestlers scheduled to appear are some of the best, independent wrestlers from across the country.
“I think what’s unique is that it’s a card featuring both gay and straight professional wrestlers, from a business that is notoriously homophobic,” Driscoll said.
“It’s a sign of the times. The straight wrestlers are more than happy to be involved [in Wrestling with Pride],” he said.
Driscoll operates several wrestling websites tailored toward a gay audience, as well as a training facility with a ring and mat room in Oakland Park. He said the show will have “a gay twist” to it, and he will be the ring announcer decked out in a “full leopard suit.”
Driscoll hinted that local drag queens will be involved in the festivities in some way, and that one of the wrestlers in the ring is a local — Jaden Ecstasy (stage name) from Fort Lauderdale.
Driscoll said BGEast was the first openly gay wrestling company that was developed to specifically target the gay wrestling fan. It’s been in business since 1979, he said.
Driscoll hopes Wrestling with Pride will become a regular feature in the area, with perhaps an event once or twice a year.
The wrestlers will convene at The Manor Complex from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Scheduled to appear are Ty Alexander, Alex Chamberlain, Kirk Donahue, Jonny Firestorm, Zip Zarella, Eye Candy Elliot and Josh Colon, for what is billed as “high-flying, hard-hitting action.”
Pre-sale general admission tickets (available through Feb. 21) are $20. Tickets are $25 at the door. General admission tickets will give you open seating options and standing areas. A VIP option is $50, which will place you in the front two rows of seating, with no waiting in the check-in line and access to a private bar.
Find the link to buy tickets on The Pride Center’s website at PrideCenterFlorida.org, or through EventBrite.com.
The Manor Complex is located at 2345 Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors.