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BGEast Panel at Wrestlefest NYC 2024

Over 120 people attended the "History of Gay Wrestling" panel put on by BG East at the LGBT Center in NYC's West Village. 

Read about it from Bard's perspective on his blog

NYC Wrestlefest History

The first NYC Wrestlefest took place in 2005. That year, Brawlmart brought together a handful of participants, including JackBouvier and 3 other guys. Every February, the gathering grew and continued to meet at the Hotel Pennsylvania in midtown Manhattan. Many of those first NYC Wrestlefest participants continue to wrestle and return to the fest every year.


A roster of attendees has always been at the heart of the fest, and it continues to be. Brawlmart maintains his roster of wrestlers who have confirmed their plans to participate with him. You can find Brawlmart’s current roster for the upcoming NYC Wrestlefest at his website:  

2023 was the first year that a public event was held in conjunction with the fest. Dozens of wrestlers gathered in their wrestling gear for the Beer Blast at the Eagle NYC, which has been sponsor of gay wrestling since the 1970s. 2023 also marked record attendance at Wrestlefest, with over 125 participants.

Wrestlefest NYC 2024 set a new record for attendance with over 300 participants. It also attracted sponsors who saw what we were doing, and wanted to help. Thanks to,, and

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This page made possible by the sponsorship of:
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Wrestlefest Canada

In the summer of 2023, the first Wrestlefest Canada was hosted in Toronto. “Canada's largest LGBTQIA+ social gathering of people interested in all things wrestling,” Wrestlefest Canada welcomed more than 100 participants from across Canada and around the world. Several group events offered opportunities for participants to socialize, amid countless privately arranged wrestling meet-ups. Thanks to Leanmachine94, Sunny Deleon, and others for organizing a great Wrestlefest.


Wrestlefest Canada 2024 will take place July 24-26 in Toronto, ON. See their website here.  

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Pre-Internet NYC Wrestling

Even before Wrestlefest, NYC has been a gathering place for wrestlers for decades. The New York Wrestling Club (NYWC) was one of several wrestling clubs across the US and the world that brought together wrestlers since the 1970s. The clubs offered wrestlers the opportunity to meet up for group matches, and to schedule private matches independently. They kept their members connected by newsletters, which provided updates and photos (see sample newsletters below), and through directories with pictures and contact info.

We are looking for member directories from the wrestling clubs like the New Orleans Wrestling Club, Windy City Wrestling Club, the Gillespie Newsletter, wrestling stories from Drummer Magazine by Hank Trout, etc. If you have these or other items from our gay wrestling history, please get in touch to discuss how we can host and share them. Contact 

Enjoy these pictures scanned from original copies of NYWC newsletters ranging from 1979 - 1986.

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Check out this New York Wrestling Club newsletter from 1979. 

..and this NYWC newsletter from 1985. 


Materials and info collected from Kid Leopard, Hashbock, Brawlmart, JackBouvier, NickZ, Scooter, Manhattan Mauler, wBard, Hardonthemat, WrestlerVic and others. Submit materials to

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