My name is Diana Scott.
I am a 39-year old Air Force Veteran living in Sacramento, California. I am a life-long WWE fan, attending events all over America, (the highlight being WrestleMania X at Madison Square Garden), and I continue to be an avid WWE viewer.
I am also a transgender woman.
The WWE, Finn Bálor and the Bálor Club has given me the courage to come out and say that today.
I am proud of who I am and will fight back in the face of intolerance. But I have missed three WWE shows and a Backlash pay-per-view here in Sacramento for one reason:
I am terrified of wrestling fans.
Generally, male fans of the sport can be a little nasty towards anyone they see as an “other.” I am that other. Although I perfectly enjoy being that “other” and being confrontational, the WWE has not had a great track record with the LGBTQ community.
The 35+ years of evidence of this is staggering. I could fill pages with clips, gimmicks, and storylines that were insulting to the LGBTQ community. There are just too many.
I thought I would give a few just to give a small sample.
Remember that time Jerry Lawler called Goldust a “sissy” and a “flaming f**” during a promo?
Remember when they crowned a man in women’s clothes “Miss WrestleMania?”
That sure was funny, huh?
And just one more to give you the full picture:
Wait… I was almost done, but I needed to add a “Coup de Grâce:”
It sure was funny to “trick” Mark Henry by thinking that Sammi was a woman. How dare Sammi put on a dress and try and intentionally trick a man into sex? Sammi was brought in to play that old, tired trope of “Transgender Trap.”
The term “trap” is not only offensive, it leads to violence against transgender women.
Now, this might seem like an excuse for me to just sit here and slam the WWE and not only their total lack of inclusiveness but how offensive and outright harmful they have been to the LGBTQ community over the long and storied history of the WWE.
But the script changed on Sunday.
I was expecting some huge, awesome and totally mind-blowing Finn Bálor entrance at WrestleMania. His theatricality, commitment, and just flat-out charisma to the Demon character make those entrances fun to watch. I was expecting something like that given the larger-than-life production values of WrestleMania.
What I was given was the most important moment in WWE history for me and my community. For some of you, this moment passed you by. Not me. I savored every second of it and had to rewind just to make sure my eyes did not deceive.
Finn’s music hit. There was nothing special about this entrance. No makeup, no theatrics. His face was on the cameras. He had a large smile from ear to ear. This was WrestleMania. Finn Bálor had finally made it. He had a choice of how he was going down that massive ramp.
Be inclusive. Keep it simple. Surround yourself with the local New Orleans LGBTQ community. Take a stand.
And most of all be courageous.
Finn and the WWE have given me that. I was reluctant to take this writing job at WrestleTalk News because I was transgender. I had no fear of discrimination from my colleagues in any way, shape or form; I want to make that very clear. It was my own fears, my fear from the legions of troglodyte wrestling fans that can and do matriculate all over the comment boards for WWE content.
I am strong, but last night the WWE gave me strength. The WWE told me they want my business, they want my money.
They have my business. I have ordered this shirt. In a move that sets a new precedent, 20% of the profits made from the sale Finn Bálor’s new shirt will go towards GLAAD.
I could go on and on about how much this means to me. I could go on and on about how it has always been my dream to work for WWE Creative, (I’m a damn fine writer WWE!), but I thought that dream was dead because I was transgender.
The atmosphere towards the LGBTQ community in the WWE backstage area has allegedly been less-than-friendly over the years but I know the only way that changes is through two things:
Courage and visibility.
I know for a fact that there are numerous WWE fans in the LGTBQ community. I know a gay bar in Sacramento that watches Raw and SmackDown Live every week. Sweaty muscular men grappling each other is something that appeals to gay men. Who knew?
But with that visibility comes responsibility. I live my life open and proud. I am learning what that means. And when an organization you love with every fiber of your being sends up a flag of peace towards my community?
You listen. You answer that call. You stand up and be counted.
I hear you WWE. You want my money. You always had it. Now, what are you going to do with it?
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