NKU instructor presents at World Human Rights Conference

For immediate release…
Tuesday – Sept. 3, 2013

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Ryan Clark never thought when he published a book on the life of a professional wrestler in 2011 that he’d end up presenting at the World Human Rights Conference.

But Clark, a web editor in the Northern Kentucky University Office of Marketing and Communications and part-time NKU instructor in English and journalism, did just that last month. His video presentation to the conference, which was held in Belgium, covered his book, Wrestling Reality: The Life and Mind of Chris Kanyon, Wrestling’s Gay Superstar.

Clark wrote the book as part of his graduate studies in the NKU Department of English, and earlier this year he was approached by representatives of the World Human Rights Conference to speak on the topic of gay athletes and gays in sports in America.

“We are seeing more and more that America is becoming a place where athletes feel comfortable enough to come out and be honest about their sexuality,” Clark said, referring to athletes in professional basketball, soccer and even the Ultimate Fighting Championship, who have recently revealed they are gay. “It’s a shame that Chris Kanyon couldn’t have had a role model like one of these athletes.”

Battling manic depression much of his life, Kanyon finally came out to his family in 2004, when he was released from his role with World Wrestling Entertainment. In the spring of 2010, he took his own life. Publisher’s Weekly called Clark’s book “[A] candid, honest look into a little-discussed aspect of wrestling.”

Clark’s video presentation to the World Human Rights Conference is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oemRrhQoCWk.

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