In the autobiography “Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE” (Aug, 9, 2016, ECW Press), WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson delivers a fascinating and revealing memoir.
His story chronicles decades spent working with WWE Chairman/CEO Vincent Kennedy McMahon -- behind the scenes and in the spotlight -- to life as an openly gay athlete from the 1970s to the present.
Peppered with 50 photographs, “Accepted” is an exclusive look at a revolutionary talent, pioneer and creative savant. Still active in WWE, Patterson reveals his no-holds barred story going from poor kid to WWE luminary.
Patterson, 75, grew up in a family of nine children in the economically-deprived Ville-Marie borough of Montreal. They lived in a two-bedroom apartment on the third floor. His mom took care of the family, and his father worked as a milkman 365 days a year.
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Patterson was close to his mother but never really connected with his father. He fell in love with wrestling thanks to Nature Boy Buddy Rogers, Edouard Carpentier, Killer Kowalski and a loaf of bread.
On a more personal level, when Patterson was 17-years-old, he was asked to leave his home by his father after telling his parents he was in love . . . with a man. It was the late 1950s -- a different time, a different era.
Moving from Montreal to the United States in the 1960s and barely knowing a word of English, he was determined to succeed in the squared circle. Back when homophobia was widespread, Patterson lived in this super-macho world of pro wrestling. His challenge was more than working a match, capturing the crowd. Some persecuted and humiliated him for his sexual orientation, but he persevered.
Patterson recalls the trials and tribulations of climbing to the upper ranks of sports-entertainment — as a performer and, later, as a backstage creative force.
As for the WWE Universe, many know Patterson as a ring legend, the prestigious first holder of WWE’s Intercontinental Championship, a WWE Hall of Famer, and one of Vince McMahon’s “stooges” during the Attitude Era.
But Patterson is no stooge.
He has long been one of McMahon’s trusted advisers. His impact and importance to the nascent stages of WWE are nearly comparable to that of the Chairman himself.
Patterson’s journey is covered in “Accepted.”
Patterson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996. He currently works as a creative consultant for WWE.
Patterson wrote “Accepted” with Bertrand Hebert, who is the co-author of “Mad Dogs, Midgets and Screw Jobs.” Vincent Kennedy McMahon wrote the foreword. The book is 260-plus pages. Cost is $25.95 US, $27.95 CND.
Dwayne The Rock Johnson: “Pat is one of the greatest mentors I've ever had in the world of sports-entertainment. He has been instrumental in some of the greatest story lines and matches in my entire career, and I am forever grateful for his guidance and knowledge.”
Paul Triple H Levesque: “Pat Patterson is considered a genius in our business — his wisdom and dedication are simply unmatched. Like so many WWE Superstars, I’m lucky to have learned from him and my career wouldn’t have been the same without him. Pat has played an integral part in my professional and personal life and I’m proud to say that he’ll always be a close friend and confidant.”
Bret Hit Man Hart: “Pat is one of the greatest minds to ever have anything to do with wrestling.”
Chris Jericho: “Pat Patterson is a wrestling Jedi. He’s the Yoda of WWE. He taught me 90-percent of what I know about how to put together a match. I had no idea how little I really knew about the psychology of the business until I met him.”
Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO, GLAAD: “A moving story about staying true to one’s dreams, ambitions, and identity – even in the face of improbable odds. Pat Patterson shares a stirring portrait of his rise to wrestling icon and trailblazer for LGBT athletes everywhere. Acceptedis yet another display of strength and courage in Patterson's storied career as one of the world's most well-known wrestlers.”
The book will be available in August, but pre-orders are now being accepted.
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