The following was issued:
WWE’S FIRST OPENLY GAY FEMALE COMPETITOR, SONYA DEVILLE: “I DON’T THINK IT NEEDS TO DEFINE ME”
LOS ANGELES (March 12, 2018) – Today’s episode of Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia features an in-depth interview with the WWE’s first openly gay female wrestler, Sonya Deville. In the conversation, Deville opens up about her big break on Tough Enough, what it was like to come out as gay on national television, overcoming family struggles, and how it felt to take part in the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble and Women’s Elimination Chambe rmatch. Sonya also shares her thoughts on what it means to have Ronda Rousey join the WWE, Deville’s influence and inspiration to others, and why not defining herself by her sexuality helps progress toward equality. The episode is available now on PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and Apple Podcasts.
Below are excerpts from the conversation:
On a Potential Match with Rousey:
Garcia: “What does it mean to you to have Ronda [Rousey] in the WWE?”
Sonya Deville: “I haven’t actually said anything publicly about it yet…I feel like the story me and Ronda can tell one day will be so awesome, and I think we have something special here…I think that it’s going to be an honor and a privilege to work in the ring with her…That’s the biggest compliment, is that Ronda Rousey – she’s done a lot in her life. She’s accomplished a lot. Besides MMA and the UFC, she was a Judo Olympian. She was a bronze medalist. And she went undefeated for so long, and she has a lot of accomplishments. So, for her to want to be here so bad, to go through contract negotiations for as long as they did with her, and to finally be here, that is such a compliment to our division and what we’re doing here.”
On Being the First Openly Gay Woman in WWE:
Sonya Deville: “I guess I put a big burden on myself because I want to send out the right message and I want to talk about it properly, and I do want to make sure that people hear my story because I think that it’s an interesting one that can help a lot of people. I get tweets and stuff. I tear up now just thinking about it. This little girl the other day was tweeting me – her name’s Courtney – and telling me that she came out to her family because she read my post and everything. I gave her the courage…that’s the kind of influence I want to have. It’s not just being gay. It’s just being you.”
Sonya Deville: “The more that it’s a thing, the less that it’s the norm. It needs to be the norm, you know? It needs to be just a part of what we do, and that’s when we become equal…We now raise our standards and that’s what people are looking for…I don’t think it needs to define me, in the sense that I am just another competitor, but it is something about me that I feel like I can speak on and really help other people with.”
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