During a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports, AEW Superstar Nyla Rose took time to defend Cody Rhodes over some criticism he received after he released a Pride t-shirt several weeks ago. All of the proceeds from the t-shirt will go to the National Center for Transgender Equality. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On her interactions on social media: “I love every bit of positive energy, but what means more for me is when someone will message me with an apology. It’s usually something to the effect of ‘Hey, I was uneducated on the subject. I was ignorant before, but I’ve come around and see what you’re doing. I understand now.’ It shows people are understanding, respecting, and accepting us in their own time. It’s progress. It may not be where we want it to be or need it to be, but it is progress nonetheless.”
On coming to terms with the fact that she is trans: “It’s a little tricky because I’ve kind of always marched to the beat of my own drum. Obviously, being a child, being super young, I didn’t have the language to put with how I felt, so I was just always myself. I never tried really to be anything other than myself. If it meant wearing a dress or doing this or that, I just did it. It wasn’t until my parents intervened and said that this was the role I was supposed to be in and these were the things I was supposed to do, that’s when I started to get a grasp of the language and the gravity of the situation, of what made me different from everyone else. I tried to fit that gender role and cater to everyone else’s needs, but I didn’t have the language to put with how I felt until much later in life. It wasn’t until my late teens that the journey of self-discovery really began.
“Once I learned what transgender was, everything just kind of clicked. It was a moment of ‘Oh my God, that’s me. That’s exactly how I feel. I don’t feel right being what everyone else wants me to be.’ I needed to be true to myself and what I felt inside. From that point on it was a moment of educating my family and my closest friends. I didn’t think actual transition was ever a possibility, so I relegated myself to being comfortable with being as fem as I could be. At the time, that meant cross-dressing. It wasn’t ever how I personally identified, I knew there was always something more, I just didn’t think it would be actually tangible. Much later in life is when it reached an actual breaking point and I went to see a therapist, underwent hormone therapy and I needed to actually transition.”
On Cody Rhodes’ Pride charity shirt being criticized for being “about him”: “People tend to be a little too woke a lot of times and overlook a lot of things. Cody’s an ally and he wants to go out there and do good. How can you hate on someone who wants to do good because it isn’t how you want it to be done? That’s absolutely silly. Cody actually asked me about the charity, so I did my research and due diligence and said absolutely and we agreed it was a great place for the proceeds to go to. To have someone like Cody, Dustin Rhodes, Brandi Rhodes back me and see me as a person first, it means the world to me.”
On being a role model for trans people: “I honestly think that the first person that I had ever seen in a positive light as being trans was Laverne Cox on Orange is the New Black. She was an actress playing a role and her character wasn’t the butt of the joke, her character wasn’t fodder for someone else. She was her own character, with her own story arc and that was so refreshing to see. Now, I’m in that position, so if I can give the younger audience inspiration or even help the older audience become more educated or have a better understanding, it’s an honor.”
On being a heel on TV while being herself on social media: “Let’s take Lex Luthor for example. Yes, he is a villain, but in his own social circle, he’s loved, he’s not always seen as the bad guy. I kind of take that tonal shift [when it comes to the balancing act]. Some people may see me as a villain when I go out and perform in the ring, but really I’m the hero in my own story.”