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Dave Bautista shares the powerful story behind covering up a tattoo dedicated to a former friend

He covered up his tattoo in 2016 after finding out about the problematic comments made by an ex-friend against the LGBTQIA+ community.

Dave Bautista shares the powerful story behind covering up a tattoo dedicated to a former friend
Image Source: David Bautista/Instagram

Trigger Warning: The following story contains mention of hateful comments against the LGBTQIA+ community.

Friends are an integral part of our life and they are often a huge source of support for us. However, when it comes to protecting people who are marginalized, we often have to let go of friends that have problematic views. Dave Bautista, the "Glass Onion" star, recently spoke to GQ about his tattoos and revealed a heartbreaking story about the one on his left forearm. While it now features the picture of a lady in La Catrina makeup, that spot was formerly reserved for a close friend, reports Them


The former professional wrestler covered up the tattoo after he found out that his friend was homophobic. Bautista said, "I was part of a team of a person I considered a friend and someone I really looked up to. And then he later came out publicly with some anti-gay statements, and turned out to be an extreme homophobe." It is inherently wrong to hate someone on the basis of their sexuality and support the discrimination that the LGBTQIA+ community faces on a daily basis. However, this issue was too personal for Bautista as his mother is a queer woman.

He explained, "It’s a personal issue with me, my mom’s a lesbian, and I just could no longer call him a friend." Bautista did not specifically name the ex-friend in the issue, but because his tattoos have been so thoroughly chronicled throughout his career, the answer is obvious. Bautista joined boxer Manny Pacquiao's squad for a title battle against Ricky Hatton in 2009, sealing the deal with a replica of Pacquiao's own well-known meteor tattoo on his arm. 


When Pacquiao campaigned for Senate in the Philippines in 2016, he torched dozens of bridges after declaring that LGBTQIA+ individuals are "worse than animals" on TV. Bautista said during the time: "He’s a f**king idiot. If anyone called my mother an animal, I’d stick my foot in his ass. [...] There’s no coming back from that." During Pride 2022, Bautista uploaded an Instagram photo of himself wearing a "Be You" rainbow shirt, adding that his mother Donna Raye taught him his "in your face, f**k you if you don't like it" attitude.


Bautista told GQ that while tattoos are part of a person's life story, concealing tattoos you no longer want is also part of the process. Pacquiao apologized on social media after receiving a lot of backlash for his statements, per talkSport. He said, "I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. I still stand on my belief that I’m against same-sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I’m not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I’m praying for you." 

However, the apology appeared to be too little, too late for Bautista, who quickly covered up his tattoo dedication and plainly still harbors a dislike to Pacquiao's views against the LGBTQIA+ community. Bautista stands in support of his mother and the entire queer community to this date. 

If you're queer and are being subjected to abuse, or need any help, please contact LGBT National Hotline at 1-888-843-4564

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