“I’m trying to be the voice for people who don’t have a voice”

Sep 24, 2019 - by Steve Gerweck

SI.com recently interviewed WWE Superstar Sonya Deville (aka Daria Berenato). She discussed speaking for equality for the LGBTQ community and more. Below are some highlights.

Sonya Deville on speaking for equality: “I’m speaking for equality. I want to represent the minority of people that aren’t already represented in WWE. I worked my ass off to get here and I’m going to continue to do that. I have a lot to prove, and I’m grateful that I can share my journey inside and outside of the ring.”

Deville on giving others a voice and telling people what she would’ve wanted to hear: “I’m trying to be the voice for people who don’t have a voice, and I’ve been able to do that with WWE. They’ve been so great since day one, and they’ve given me this public social platform to work with super inspiring groups. I think of myself from 10 years ago, to my younger self, when I was dating guys and didn’t know I could be anything else, and now I ask myself, ‘What would I have wanted to hear? What did I need to hear?’ I needed to see inclusion and watch people set the example that it’s OK to be whoever you are.”

Deville on not being defined by her sexual orientation and why she made it public: “I am not defined by my sexuality. I’m me. I made it public to live my truth and to stand up for those who don’t have that voice, but it doesn’t define me or my in-ring ability. I have a martial arts background. I’ve been with WWE for four years and I’ve worked my ass off, and I have so much left to accomplish inside the ring.”

Deville on being hesitant to tell Triple H on if she was in a relationship on Tough Enough: “I remember my life four years ago before I came out on Tough Enough, and that was before I was even really openly gay with anyone other than my mom, my dad, and my closest friends. I remember being asked by Triple H on the season premiere of Tough Enough, ‘Are you in a relationship?’ I froze, not expecting that question. My thought bubble was, ‘I can’t lie. And my girlfriend will kill me if I say that I’m single on a reality TV show.’ But I wasn’t ready to say out loud, ‘Yes, I have a girlfriend.’ I hadn’t said it out loud by that point, but looking back at that moment, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It forced me to tell the truth, which made me live my truth. Now, it’s a complete 360 from where I was four years ago. Not only am I comfortable with my sexual orientation and talking about it, but I also take pride in spreading the message that it’s OK to be whoever you want to be.”

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