WWE superstar Sonya Deville has opened up about the moment she came out as gay in front of the whole world on TV in front of Triple H.
The “SmackDown Live” star has become one of the biggest faces in the women’s division since debuting on the main roster in 2017. But 25-year-old Deville, real name Daria Berenato, is proving to be much more than just an inspiration inside the ring. And it all started three years ago after she was given an opportunity by WWE on “Tough Enough.”
“During the preliminary taping of the first premiere episode, they asked me if I was in a relationship. I had a girlfriend at the time,” she told Sky Sports.
“Not only was I not expecting that question, I was in a bikini in high heels in front of Triple H and other WWE executives inside the ring! The other girls had spray tans and their extensions in, and they looked beautiful – and I was just like this MMA fighter chick. I felt so out of my comfort zone when they asked me that question. I thought ‘what do I do … well, tell the truth, right?’
“So I said, yeah, I have a girlfriend, but she’s not my wife yet. I got nervous, and they all started smiling. I said, ‘oh my god, I just came out on national television.’ And Triple H replied, ‘yeah you did!’ I just came back with, ‘oh well, that’s that!’”
Some people believe the announcement may have been planned but Deville insists that was not the case. And she is now reveling in her status as a role model to LGBTQ people across the globe.
“It was one of those spontaneous moments,” Deville said. “It truly wasn’t planned, but I’m so grateful that it happened because after that, it not only gave me a new realization of what it means to be open and true to myself. I feel like it helped me inspire other people.
“If you’re scared to do it, my advice would be ‘do it’, because it was the best thing that ever happened. I’m not saying there’s not going to be trials and tribulations along the way, but in the end, the best life you can live is the life where you’re true to yourself. My goal in talking about my sexuality publicly is just so that a scared little girl or little boy can see me do it and think, ‘wow, if she did it, then maybe it’s OK that I do it.’
“It’s to encourage people to be themselves. Equality for all is what we should all want, between race, religion, gender, sexuality … it doesn’t matter. We’re all equal and we should treat each other as such.”