She may not be bringing the Burning Hammer down on opponents in the WWE anymore, but Gabbi Tuft is feeling stronger than ever before.
The former WWE wrestling star, who went by the ring name “Tyler Reks” from 2009-2012 has now come out a proud trans woman who “can now say, with confidence, that I love myself for WHO I am.”
“The ball dropped early today as this is now worldwide news,” Tuft wrote in an Instagram post yesterday. “This is me. Unashamed, unabashedly me. This is the side of me that has hidden in the shadows, afraid and fearful of what the world would think; afraid of what my family, friends, and followers would say or do.”
But Tuft says she’s no longer afraid to be herself. “The previous eight months have been some of the darkest of my entire life. The emotional turmoil of being transgender and having to face the world has almost ended me on multiple occasions,” she wrote. “However, the day I stopped caring about what other people thought, was the day I truly became limitless and allowed my authentic self to come into the light.”
Luckily, Tuft has been supported by her friends and family. “My loving wife, family, and closest friends have accepted me for who I am,” she said, “To them, I am forever grateful. Your support along the way means more than you will ever know.”
When she was in the ring, Tuft appeared in events like Raw, SmackDown and Wrestlemania, where she used her signature move, the Burning Hammer to slam opponents stomach-down on the mat.
In a follow up post today, Tuft wrote that “the incredible outpouring of support from thousands of people I’ve never met is an illustration of just how much love there is in this world.” She continued, “yesterday, as I fully embraced my authentic self, neighbors went out of their way to ring my doorbell and drop off cards, flowers, and give hugs and support; I was showered with an unimaginable amount of love and encouragement every time I picked up my phone; and my uncontrollable smile you saw yesterday was directly from my soul.”
She finished the message of thanks, saying “Thank you to everyone that has reached out in support. You have reaffirmed what I already knew, which is that we as humans truly are beings of love and light. Thank you for seeing my heart. I love you all and I am grateful beyond words for each and every one of you ”