During a new interview with TV Insider to promote the WWE Total Divas reality show, Sonya Deville commented on being on WWE Tough Enough, the LGBTQ community, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On being on Tough Enough: “When I did Tough Enough, it was in a completely different place in my life. It was a whirlwind experience. It was more nerve-wracking then because there were high stakes on the line. I hadn’t made it in the business yet. There was more of a competitive spirit in trying to make things happen. On Total Divas, I’m blessed to be in WWE and sharing my journey and story with people who never knew it. Fans get to know a different side of me, which is super exciting.”
On being open about her sexual orientation on Total Divas: “I know when people watch Total Divas there is going be a lot to relate to when it comes to my relationship to my girlfriend and being part of the LGBTQ community. Letting a whole new demographic able tune in and say, ‘Wow, I’m gay. She is gay.’ I want to make them feel comfortable and know they have a voice from the WWE now.”
On her relationship with the other stars this season: “Carmella and I were always close, so it gave us more time together. Nattie I never got to know that well before Divas because we’ve been on different brands. I really got to bond with her. Ronda, it was cool to bond with her. You’ll see during the season that her and I were not always on the same page, but it was good getting to know her. We’re friendly now.”
On how her girlfriend Arianna Johnson didn’t want to do the show at first: “She did not want to do it at all. You’ll see it play out on the show. And that’s real life. She met me before I started doing Total Divas. She had no interest in me because of my job or what I do. She wasn’t about sharing our private moments on TV. We went through some conversations about that. Then she agreed to do it because I wanted her to do it. I wanted to share her with the world. I didn’t want to have to fake something on TV. I didn’t want to leave her out, so I’m glad she did it with me.”
On her experiences with young fans: “I remember the last big signing I did was at WrestleMania in New York. My line was filled with people from the LGBTQ community. A lot of them were teenagers. This one young girl was crying. She was like, ‘You helped me come out to my family.’ That was a surreal moment that reminded me why I do what I do. Moments like that. If I can influence one person or 5,000 people or whatever number to stay true to themselves, then I’m accomplishing all I want to accomplish. That is what is cool about having the platform of WWE. Having a voice and having the public platform on social media to share my story. Four years ago, you go back to the premiere of Tough Enough, I was scared s—less to come out at all. I had a girlfriend, but I never considered myself gay. I never said it out loud. I never acknowledged it except to my mom and dad. Look at me four years later now, not only proud of my sexuality but advocating and talking about it. Being comfortable in who I am and giving voices to those who might not have a voice. I really want to help people to do the same.”
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