Sonya Deville was recently on Better Together with Maria Menounos and she discussed her experience of coming out as gay on national television. She gave a full rundown of her experience and her thoughts at the time.

“That was the craziest thing ever,” Deville recalled. “It was such a weird time in my life. I’m 21 years old the time, I’m on a reality television show that’s being broadcast live internationally, and the first question I’m asked in the interview portion of the show is, ‘Are you in a relationship?’ That’s such an easy question.

“But for me, it was this loaded question with such a complex back end. I wasn’t openly gay yet but I did have a girlfriend at the time. I remember thinking, Okay, do I lie, and my girlfriend will kill me because I’m now saying I’m single on a Reality TV show? Or do I tell the truth, and now the entire world knows I’m gay and out her, because she wasn’t even out to [anyone, even her parents].” I just told the truth, and was like, ‘Yeah, I have a girlfriend.’ And I kind of, like, smiled. And Triple H was like, did you just come out on National Television? And I was like, ‘Yeah, I think did.'”

Deville also described her experience during the early days of her career as the first openly gay woman in WWE. She talked about how social media was a negative influence on her, but also, she got to see that younger fans considered her an inspiration.

“At first it was super daunting,” Deville admitted, “I remember coming out and being like, OK, what does this mean? How do I feel? And I remember not being able to assess my emotions at first. I’m happy, because I feel free. There was a weight lifted off my shoulder/ But on the same token, I remember social media back then being a little rough.

“A lot of people were jumping to judgments and conclusions, and I was very young and easily influenced at the time. It was definitely hard at first, but looking back at the kind of last five years of my life and realizing that not only am I more comfortable with myself than I ever been, because of almost being forced to live my truth, but watching my younger fans be inspired by it, it means the world to me. Now, obviously I’m in a place where I’m proud of my sexuality, and it doesn’t. I want to be the voice for people who don’t have a voice.”