Sonya Deville is paving the way!
The pro wrestler and Total Divas newcomer gives audiences a chance to get to know her better in this clip from the WWE series' season nine premiere. And thanks to her credentials, it's quite the introduction.
"I'm the first-ever female MMA fighter to be on the WWE roster," she tells the camera (fellow superstar Ronda Rousey, who joins the Divas cast alongside Sonya this year, is also a seasoned mixed martial artist). And that's not the last of her firsts at the organization.
"I'm the first-ever openly gay female in the WWE," she continues. "But I don't want that to define me."
Rather, the 26-year-old athlete goes on to say she hopes her authenticity and openness inspires fans watching to follow her example.
"I just want people to be like, 'I love wrestling. Oh, and Sonya Deville's gay? Freaking awesome. That's gonna give me courage to kind of me be and be open and be true to myself because I look up to Sonya,'" she explains, adding, "I'm hoping that's what people get from this."
Audiences will have lots of opportunities to learn more about Sonya and her story when Total Divas returns Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 10 p.m. with new episodes. As featured in an earlier promo video released last month, the upcoming season will include footage from her 2019 appearance at Fort Lauderdale's Pride Parade, where she celebrated on a float named after her WWE character!
Glean boatloads of inspiration—personal and professional—from Sonya in the clip above!