Gabbi Tuft is ready to show the world who she is.
Tuft, a former WWE wrestling star, announced she is transgender this week.
“This is me,” she wrote in an Instagram post coming out as transgender. “Unashamed, unabashedly me.”
The former wrestler was active in the WWE from 2009-2012 under the ring name “Tyler Reks.” In 2012, she left WWE fame to spend more time with her wife, Priscilla, and their daughter.
But her post-wrestling life wasn’t always smooth sailing.
“The previous eight months have been some of the darkest of my entire life,” Tuft wrote on Instagram. “The emotional turmoil of being transgender and having to face the world has almost ended me on multiple occasions.”
“However,” she said, “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.”
In the ring, she was known for a signature move
Before retiring in 2014, the former WWE superstar was intimidating opponents in TV events like “Raw,” “SmackDown” and “Wrestlemania.”
Her signature move? The “Burning Hammer.”
Videos abound on the Internet of Tuft wrapping her opponents’ bodies around her neck, taking a beat and slamming them stomach-down into the canvas.
But the days of the “burning hammer” are gone — and since then, Tuft has taken up work as a body builder, fitness instructor, motivational speaker and motorcycle racer. Now, she shared in a news release, she is ready to live her truth as a “fun-loving and fabulous female.”
“She has been finally set free and ready to rule her world,” the release said.
She’s grateful for her fans’ support
Tuft knows her fans have questions — and in her Instagram post, she said she intends to answer them.
But she’s also making time to receive the outpouring of support from fans.
“This is probably the most exciting day of my life, next to the birth of my child and my wedding day,” she said in an Instagram story.
“I am blown away,” she said. “I just want to say thank you to everyone that held support for me before the world knew … thank you for everyone, with the flood of positive messages coming in. I love you all so much.”
Tuft said she plans to go through fans messages soon.
“I have a lot on my plate, though,” she said.
Tuft and her wife said in the news release that they also want to help others in the LGBTQ community struggling with their transgender identities.