On Friday, after the leak of a personal video that allegedly shows UFC fighter Jeff Molina engaging in intimate activity with another man, the 3-0 flyweight division champion publicly came out as bisexual via a Twitter post. He is the first male UFC fighter to come out in history.
“Not the way I wanted to do this,” Molina wrote Friday, “but the chance to do it when I was ready was taken from me.” The 24-year-old mixed martial artist sometimes known as “El Jefe” explained in the post that he’s dated women his entire life and has kept his feelings for men buried deep inside out of fear that his teammates and fans might look at him “differently.” Now, Molina’s fears are sadly being proved right, after a cadre of homophobic UFC fans began a pile-on in reaction to the announcement.
Being outed via sex tape is a gigantic breach of privacy and is never the ideal way to come out, but Molina, much like “Heartstopper” star Kit Connor who was outed earlier this summer, was left with little choice in the matter. “I wanted to be known for my skills,” Molina wrote, “and not just the bi ufc fighter.”
The outpouring of support from caring fans, allies, and other fighters, however, showed Molina that the world was ready for him to come out, even if it couldn’t be on his own terms.
Molina dealt with homophobic backlash last year even before coming out: when he wore the UFC’s pride month shorts as an ally, the trolls were quick to leap to homophobic conclusions.
“I just thought in 2022 people would be a little more open-minded and not pieces of sh*t,” Molina said in response. “But I guess I was wrong.”