Richard Drew/Associated Press
Former WWE superstar Gabbi Tuft publicly announced she is transgender on Thursday.
“The ball dropped early today as this is now worldwide news. 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.
“I am no longer afraid and I am no longer fearful. I can now say with confidence, that I love myself for WHO I am. 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.
“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. My loving wife, family, and closest friends have accepted me for who I am. To them, I am forever grateful. Your support along the way means more than you will ever know.”
Tuft also noted she will provide more details about her announcement in an interview with Billy Bush that will air on Friday’s episode of Extra.
Tuft is best known for her three-year stint in WWE from 2009 to 2012, making her main-roster debut on ECW.
She was assigned to the SmackDown brand in 2010 when the ECW brand was shuttered. Her highest-profile run came late that year when she was on the SmackDown team at Bragging Rights and a member of Alberto Del Rio’s team at Survivor Series.
In August 2012, Tuft told Arda Ocal and Jimmy Korderas (h/t James Caldwell of Pro Wrestling Torch) she asked to be released from WWE in order to retire and spend more time with her family.
Tuft was part of the pre-show battle royals at WrestleMania 26 and 27.