Seems like just yesterday, we were congratulating Patricio Manuel for making history as the first transgender boxer to be the face of Everlast. Now, congrats are in order for Nyla Rose for being the first known transgender professional wrestler in North America.
Rose is making headlines for this major news, however, Rose is no stranger to the limelight. She had a role in the Vancouver-based comedy series The Switch, which aired on OutTV and produced 6 episodes. She played the lead character, Sü, which Out Magazine recognized as the first scripted show with a trans lead.
Rose has now taken her talents into the ring under AEW, which is owned by Shahid Khan and his son, Tony. Nyla Rose is the first openly transgender woman to be signed by a major U.S. wrestling promotion. This past Wednesday, the first episode of All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite aired on TNT, featuring Rose. She may have lost to Japanese wrestler Riho, but the fight was nothing short of entertaining and competitive.
While there is no doubt that Rose has many fans, with the love also comes the hate. Angry wrestling fans have expressed disdain for a transgender woman competing in female sports because of presumed advantages a trans woman may have. Even in a sport that is scripted and performative, some still questioned if it was fair to have Rose compete.
“I’m actually a little concerned about how she is with the other wrestlers, because for most of her life, she was stronger, proportionately, by a lot. But now she’s something else,” said Adam Fried, a plumber from Silver Spring, one among the scores of mainly male wrestling fans who had waited in line for Wednesday night’s show.
Even with the backlash, Nyla Rose isn’t backing down, and she has plenty of supporters in her corner. She’s just focused on taking advantage of the opportunity. Rose knew there might be fans watching who have never known a trans person.
In an interview Wednesday before the show, she told reporters “they can see another way someone lives their life. Something they’re not normally used to, so it eventually becomes not a big deal.”
Even with a loss, for Rose, fighting in such a major ring, in her hometown, is a big deal. Congratulations to #NylaRose on such a huge accomplishment. We wish her the best in her career!
Watch the match below: