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These pro strongmen found a major powerup when they embraced their truths (and fell in love)

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Meet Rob and Joey, a couple you’d definitely want nearby if your car got stuck in a ditch.Rob Kearney is a self-proclaimed “not-so-athletic kid” who is also now known as the “World’s Strongest Gay.” He’s opened up about how he got started in the straight-dominated world of professional Strongman competitions, and how he found love — for himself and his husband — along the way.Rob says that growing up, he always knew he was different.“It was always just pushed to the back of my mind.

And I never wanted to deal with it,” he recently told Nightline. A post shared by Rob Kearney (@worlds_strongest_gay)Rob had achieved many of his goals by 2014, including deadlifting a not-so-insignificant 971 pounds and turning pro, but realized he wouldn’t truly be fulfilled until he starting living more authentically.“Once I realized it for myself and I could confidently look in the mirror and say ‘I’m a gay man’ and be proud of that … I realized if people didn’t like it about me, I didn’t need them to accept it,” he said.He added: “I was finally accepting myself.

And that was opening up these new doors that I never knew existed.”That year, Rob became the first openly gay professional Strongman competitor, and soon started calling himself the “World’s Strongest Gay.”  A post shared by Rob Kearney (@worlds_strongest_gay)One of those newly-opened doors also led him to meeting his now-husband, Joey.When the two started dating and Joey learned about Rob’s career, his immediate response was: “I want to do that.”Now they regularly compete together, and even have a children’s book about a would-be Strongman who finds additional power by embracing his queer joy.

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