Sonya Deville is a former member of Absolution which might be where much of the WWE Universe was first introduced to the former MMA fighter. But her time on Tough Enough was worth noting for a lot of her fans, especially those who have rooted her on since the beginning.
Deville recently spoke to Sky Sports about her introduction to the WWE Universe and how a simple question on Tough Enough encouraged her to openly admit that she is a lesbian on national television.
“Mandy and I were both on the show. 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.”
“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!'”
Although this moment came as a surprise for Deville, she used the accident as a way to further her own story and inspire others. She admitted it was a spur of the moment move, but through her honesty, she was able to not only able to make that part of herself open, but she soon realized how much more it meant to others watching at home.
“It was one of those spontaneous moments. 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, but 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.”
Deville went on to explain why she was so open out her decision to come out so publically because she realized what kind of platform she had even on Tough Enough. Now as a SmackDown Live Superstar, she has even more ability to help inspire others to be true to themselves and for even more to treat people equally.
“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.”
Deville is currently in the midst of a storyline on SmackDown Live which could see her separate from her long-time friend and travel buddy Mandy Rose on television. As the two split up their alliance on WWE TV, it’s important to remember that this is essential to many Superstars’ careers as it allows them to tell more stories.
Only time will tell what plan WWE has for both Deville and Rose down the line. But no matter how many fans she entertains throughout her career, Sonya Deville will never forget how being truthful on Tough Enough started her career in WWE the right way.