Sonya Deville, WWE's first openly lesbian Superstar, was a source of inspiration for Tegan Nox, who recently came out publicly and she says that she told Tegan to make sure to not let anybody dictate her journey for her.
For many years now, Sonya Deville has flown the flag for LGBTQ+ representation in WWE. Recently, NXT Superstar Tegan Nox came out publicly on her Instagram and revealed in interviews that she went to Sonya for advice.
Speaking with International Business Times, Deville shed some light on the advice that she gave the NXT Superstar, revealing that the key element was for Tegan to be true to herself.
“Tegan’s an incredible person. I’m so happy for her and her girlfriend,” Deville began. “She reached out to me a couple of months ago and she just kind of picked my brain on my coming out story. What it was like and what she was going through and how to kind of navigate some of the dark waters that she hasn’t done yet. I just gave her the best advice I could, and I told her that I think she’s awesome and speaking her truth is a powerful thing, but to do it on her time, in her way and not to let anybody else dictate that journey for her.”
Sonya Deville also spoke about the recent rise in LGBTQ+ representation and wrestling across both WWE and AEW. For Sonya, who has admitted several times in the past that coming out on WWE Tough Enough was very difficult for her, she could not be happier to see this evolution.
“It’s so cool. I look back to five years ago when I first came into WWE and I was nervous because there wasn’t a lot of representation,” she said. “I didn’t even know of Darren Young at the time. I learned about him as I got signed into NXT, but then he didn’t work for the company anymore. Within my small community, there wasn’t much representation. It was important for me to be that for other young people looking to get into the wrestling industry, and to now see representation of almost all aspects of the LGBTQ+ community is so important. It’s so pivotal for our community and where the sport is going in general.”
She continued, “Having Jake Atlas and Tegan in WWE, and seeing Sonny Kiss and Nyla Rose in AEW, it’s so powerful and it means the world to me. I know that it means the world to younger members of the LGBTQ+ community looking to get into wrestling. It’s really inspirational.”
Aside from being a trailblazer in terms of representation, Sonya DeVville remains an absolute badass on the SmackDown brand. You can check out the results of the most recent episode at this link to see how Sonya’s feud with Mandy Rose has soared to a new hair-raising level.