WWE superstar Sonya DeVille reflects on decision to come out on national TV: ‘I just told the truth’

Sonya DeVille wearing a white suit at the A Night Of Pride With GLAAD And NFL.

When WWE star Sonya DeVille was asked on national TV whether she was in a relationship, she was faced with a decision: lie, or come out.

DeVille was just 21-years-old when she took part in wrestling reality contest Tough Enough in 2015 and wrestling star Triple H questioned her about her relationship status.

She decided to announce to the world that she had a girlfriend, and in doing so became the first out lesbian WWE superstar.

Speaking to Today, Deville, whose real name is Daria Berenato, revealed that she made the decision to come out as a lesbian in the moment: “The first question I was asked was ‘Are you currently in a relationship?’ and so I was just like, either I lie on national television and that’s a whole other thing, or I tell the truth… So I just told the truth, and that was my coming out.”

In an interview with WWE itself, Sonya DeVille revealed that she was stunned to be asked the question at all, let alone know how to answer it, as she had never considered using the phrase “girlfriend” herself.

“I never publicly talked about having a girlfriend or even used that phrase before. But all that went through my head was, ‘Well, that’s not fair to this woman that I love. It’s not fair to her, to keep her a secret,’” DeVille said. 

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“I remember calling my mom telling her I had just come out on national television! She was one of the only people that knew. It started this whole crazy turn of events [that changed] my life for the better,” the Total Divas star added.

The response to DeVille’s coming out was huge, with LGBTQ+ WWE fans hailing the revelation as a milestone for the professional wrestling industry

“It’s insane how many fans I have from the LGBTQ+ community,” DeVille told WWE. “I would say the majority of my fanbase are young, gay women. Many of them were in tears telling me that my coming out inspired them to come out.

Sonya DeVille also spoke out about feeling the need to be a role model for LGBTQ+ WWE fans, suggesting that having that representation when she was younger would have helped her growing up.

“Some of [the LGBTQ+ fans] haven’t come out yet and are asking me what they should do. I get those questions on Instagram and Twitter all the time, and honestly, I sit there and answer a lot of them.

“Imagine if I was a kid and my role model answered me back and gave me advice; I would have taken that for gold. If they see me like that, I could be such an influence on these kids. I would have loved someone to talk to about it.”

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