Lesbian WWE star Sonya Deville makes important point about representation in wrestling
WWE’s first openly lesbian star, Sonya Deville, has said she wants to represent the LGBT+ community in wrestling to help others “live [their] truth”.
Deville has also become the first gay cast member of reality show Total Divas, which follows the work and personal lives of female WWE wrestlers, and the ninth season premiered on Tuesday (October 1).
She told Fox News: “I don’t think there’s ever been anyone like me on there. Obviously, [I’m] the first gay member of the cast which is cool because hopefully, I can kind of be a voice and a presence for the community that hasn’t been there before.
“I get to share my journey with my girlfriend, the ups and downs and the cool moments that we had together this year.”
Deville — real name Daria Berenato — came out during the 2015 season of WWE’s reality competition series, Tough Enough.
Deville was one of the contestants vying for a contract with WWE and when the show’s judges asked if she was in a relationship, she responded: “I don’t have a wife yet, but I have a girlfriend.”
— Daria Berenato (@SonyaDevilleWWE) July 1, 2019
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Sonya Deville: “I was afraid to be who I was.”
“I just look at myself four years ago – I wasn’t openly gay. I wasn’t even OK with saying the word gay,” she said in the interview with Fox News.
“I never said it and I was afraid to be who I was. And the only thing that would make me feel more comfortable is seeing [other] people live their truth.”
She added: “I think the LGBTQ community is excited to have someone in the WWE that can represent them.”
Earlier this year, WWE wrestler Rhea Ripley issued an apology after she used a gay slur during a live stream.
In a clip of the live stream circulated on Twitter, Ripley can be heard telling a fan that they are “a stupid motherf***ing f****t”.