Gabbi Tuft, the retired wrestling champ formerly known as Tyler Reks, has come out as a transgender woman.
The 42-year-old athlete made the announcement Thursday on social media.
“This is me. Unashamed, unabashedly me,” Tuft wrote on Instagram. “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.”
Tuft, who joined World Wrestling Entertainment in 2008, said that her adolescence was marked with questions regarding her identity.
“When I was 10, when my parents weren’t home, I would sneak into my mom’s closet and try on her clothes,” Tuft told “Extra” host Billy Bush. “And it just felt right but I suppressed it my whole life.”
The 6-foot-5 athlete, who also founded the fitness website Body Spartan, has been married to her wife, Priscilla, since 2002. They have one daughter, Mia, who was born in November 2011.
During the Bush interview, Tuft admitted the dynamics of their sex life was in a transformational phase.
“It’s been a very interesting progression. Our intimate life has changed quite a bit,” explained Tuft. “We’re not active in that way right now. And what we’ve discovered is a whole different part of our relationship.”
Tuft in an Instagram post has also promised to provide transparency regarding her physical and emotional journey.
“Just know the outer shell may change, but the soul remains the same.”