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Everything you need to know about the lesbian wrestlers dominating the ring

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Dec 15, 2023

Everything you need to know about the lesbian wrestlers dominating the ring

Pro wrestling is a whole world of its own. Maybe you are a devout WWE SmackDown! Fan and you let everyone in a 25-mile radius know via your HER profile. Or maybe you just love to watch the homoerotic undertones of two same-sex babes grabbing, fighting, and pinning each other down in the ring. Either way, wrestling has something to offer everyone.

While pro wrestling has never been known for its acceptance of LGBTQIA+ identities, there is something about wrestling that just feels so innately… queer. 

Did anyone else spend hours as a teenager Googling “lesbian wrestling videos,” or was that just me? Not only was it a great excuse to get on top of your friends at a sleepover when you were younger, but what could be more gay than two sweaty women (or men) grappling with each other on the ground until one person finally surrenders? 

For as long as wrestling has existed, it has always been both as a combat sport, and as a tool for people to explore same-sex physicality, intimacy, and sexual chemistry (consciously or not). 

While this has been historically true, there has been a serious lack of positive queer and lesbian representation in the pro-wrestling industry since its inception in the United States. However, there are more and more out lesbian wrestlers, such as Sonya Deville and Mercedes Martinez, who are changing the narrative about lesbians in the pro wrestling scene. 

Believe it or not, the wrestling industry actually has a rich lesbian history even if the women who paved the way were not able to come out during their careers. Here is everything you need to know about lesbians in wrestling including the tips, tricks, and stories of triumphs and from the queer women who are changing the industry one smackdown at a time.


The history of lesbians in the wrestling industry

Lesbians have made an impact in every sector of American life, whether their stories are known or not. Sue Green and Sandy Parker are two unsung lesbian heroes of the 60s and 70s who are living testaments to the lesbian history in wrestling. These women prove that LGBTQIA+ professional wrestlers have existed and excelled within the sport, whether they were allowed to live authentically or not.

Sue “Tex” Green began wrestling in 1969 and had to keep her lesbian identity a secret throughout her career. She was trained by Lillian Ellison, otherwise known as The Fabulous Moolah, who would ask prospective women wrestlers whether or not they were lesbians before agreeing to train them.

“If you were a lesbian, you were not being trained by her.”

Green

Sue Green was tag-team partners with Sandy Parker, a Black Canadian-born self-professed wrestling addict, to win the NWA Women’s World Tag Team title in 1971. Parker was also the first Black woman ever to win a major title in Japan, as well as the first out lesbian woman to be a world champion wrestler. 

In the 2022 LGBTQIA+ documentary Out in The Ring, Sue Green reflects on how much lesbian representation has changed in the wrestling industry.

“That there’s a lot more people out there than I realized that are coming out openly and not having to hide who they are.”

Green

“I wish it was that way when I came out, or whenever I started because I would have never had to hide who I was.”

Green
Retired pro wrestler and pro wrestling trainer Susan "Tex" Green in a still from Out in the Ring by Ry Levey—a documentary that examines the history of LGBTQIA+ professional wrestlers past and present.

Source: CBC


WWE’s “Hot Lesbian Action”

Fast forward thirty years, and a ratings-desperate WWE introduced an awful segment on Raw in 2002 to compete with the season premiere of Monday Night Football. If any of you queers survived the 2000s as I did, you might remember WWE’s HLA storyline, otherwise known as “Hot Lesbian Action.” 

Rather than showcase lesbian wrestlers in diverse and meaningful ways, the HLA segments were created to sexualize straight female wrestlers and titillate male viewers who get off on lesbian fetishes. 

The HLA segments were the brainchild of Vince McMahon Jr., who Sandy Parker believes “truly sullied the [wrestling] business with his lurid storylines.” 

They often featured women who were not lesbians, such as Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson, Mickie James and, well, everybody, and Taeler Hendrix and Ruby Riott, now known as Ruby Soho. And no, believe it or not, Ruby Riott is not a lesbian. It’s always cringe to see straight people pretending to be queer for ratings and pay, especially when LGBTQIA+ representation is so severely lacking in the wrestling industry.

And while it could be argued that these storylines brought some type of lesbian representation into the industry (mostly for the wide-eyed baby gays watching WWE alone at home with the babysitter while their parents are out), not all press is good press for the queer community. 

The girl-on-girl segments were creepy at best, demeaning at worst, and showcased the sexism, homophobia, and exploitation on full display in the male-dominated and macho industry of mainstream pro wrestling.

A still from G.L.O.W. (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) showing Yolanda (Yo-Yo), a lesbian wrestler and stripper in a gold two-piece suit pulling a move on another woman beneath her in a wrestling ring.

Source: Logo TV


5 out professional lesbian wrestlers smashing the industry

In the past 20 years, more and more bisexual, queer, and lesbian wrestlers are coming out, stepping into the ring, and refusing to conform to the hypersexualized stereotypes that preceded them. Let’s get ready to rumble!


1. Sonya Deville

Sonya Deville, a professional wrestler, smiling and standing confidently in her wrestling attire, featuring a white crop top, during a wrestling event.

Source: allure

This wouldn’t be an article on lesbian wrestlers if we didn’t shout out the OG—Sonya Deville. At the age of sixteen, she began competing in mixed martial arts before starting her wrestling career. Deville is WWE’s first openly-lesbian wrestler who came out on national TV in 2015. 

During her time on reality TV show “Tough Enough,” the judges asked Deville if she was in a relationship. She responded:

“I don’t have a wife yet, but I have a girlfriend.”

Deville

Deville has been advocating for the LGBTQIA+ community ever since coming out, including walking into the ring to the original entrance song “Pride Fighter.” She said that she wants to use her platform to show LGTBQ+ fans that there is always a space for them in wrestling. 

Deville’s advice to anyone out there who is afraid of coming out is to “do it,” adding that

“It was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Deville

We are also proud to announce that Sonya Deville is on track to indeed having a wife now, as she and fiancé Toni Cassano got engaged in February 2023.


2. Mercedes Martinez

Professional wrestler Mercedes Martinez, identified as a lesbian athlete, is depicted in the wrestling ring, engaged in a powerful combat stance. She exudes strength and determination, showcasing her athletic prowess in the midst of an intense wrestling match.

Source: WWE

Mercedes Martinez is a lesbian legend in the wrestling business. According to Cagematch, the 43-year-old professional wrestler has wrestled in every single year of the 21st century. Martinez, who is currently signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW), took her legendary status to the next level by publicly coming out as a lesbian in 2019. When asked about her coming out journey, she says

“Everyone knew. I just never wanted it to be the focus of my career.”

Martinez

Part of the reason why so many women were (and are) closeted in the wrestling business is because of the hyper-feminized pressure and heterosexual undertones in the industry’s culture. This culture is largely present in WWE. Martinez reflects on why WWE wasn’t for her,

“Their mission wasn’t my mission. It was the Divas Era [in 2007], and they wanted to mold you into the cookie-cutter type female. And that’s not what I’m about. I’m about being true to who I am.”

Martinez

3. Nyla Rose

A promotional image of Nyla Rose, Black, indigenous, transgender and lesbian wrestler. She is looking at the camera with a menacing glare.

Source: SI

Another hard-hitting iconic Black and indigenous lesbian wrestler who is becoming a household name is Nyla Rose. Like Martinez, Rose is signed to All Elite Wrestling and was the former AEW Women’s World Champion. Rose quietly made history when she became the first out transgender woman ever signed by a big-time American wrestling company. 

AEW markets itself as being a wrestling promotion “for everyone,” yet manages the superficial tokensism that can so often come alongside diversity campaigns.

“The best wrestlers are gonna field the game and that’s a very diverse profile, and I’m really proud of it.”

AEW co-founder and EVP Cody Rhodes

“But … we’re gonna promote them as wrestlers. That’s all the elements of diversity. We’re not gonna make it a p.r. element for us. And that I’m really proud of, because it’s about the wrestling.”

Rhodes

Rose is happily married to her wife Kelenna Mills who described herself on X as “Consort to the Princess King, Nyla Rose.” We stan.


4. Tegan Nox

Professional wrestler Tegan Nox in the ring, smiling confidently

Source: Bleacher Report

Tegan Nox is a Welsh professional wrestler signed to World Wrestling Entertainment. The 28-year-old WWE NXT star revealed she was a lesbian back in 2020 in a post with her ex-girlfriend Sierra St. Pierre on Instagram. Nox revealed that her life had been a “don’t ask, don’t tell’ situation.” She has since clarified that she is actually bisexual. Nox is currently recovering from an ACL tear, but we can’t wait to see what she does when she is back in the ring. 


5. Leyla Hirsch

Professional wrestler Leyla Hirsch standing confidently in the wrestling ring, showcasing her well-defined muscles with a broad, happy smile on her face.

Source: Outsports

The last lesbian to make this list is Russian-born professional wrestler Leyla Hirsch. Hirsch is also signed to All Elite Wrestling (can you say ally) and appears in AEW’s sister promotion Ring of Honor. Hirsch is an open lesbian and recently announced her engagement to Jordan Haykin in 2023 on Instagram. 

After tearing her ACL, she wrote,

“While [getting injured] was the worst thing that had happened to me, it was also the best thing to have happened to me. During that time, I found my future wife. This recovery journey was one of the toughest things I had to go through. I am so grateful to have had you by my side through it all.. I love you so much, and I can’t wait to continue this journey called life with you.”

Hirsch

If you are looking to follow for more lesser known indie lesbian wrestlers, check out Charlie Morgan, Jetta, Rebel Kinney, Diamente, and Kiera Hogan, and Ashley VOX. 

Now I don’t know about you, but these are the lesbian wrestling storylines that I’m here for. While none of this is to say that lesbian representation is anywhere near where it needs to be in the industry, but queer women are continuing to break barriers and continue building on the rich lesbian history of wrestling. Despite all odds, lesbians continue to find their place in pro wrestling. In an industry that has been anything but affirming for LGBTQIA+ people, queer people keep gravitating toward the camp in wrestling culture and carving out their own space in the ring.


Lesbian wrestling videos 

Now that you know some of the best lesbian wrestlers on the scene today, maybe you’re ready to start your own pro wrestling career. Or maybe you are looking for some lesbian wrestling tips that you can use on your girlfriend in bed. Either way, here are some of our favorite lesbian wrestling videos from the cuties on TikTok. 

Source: TikTok

@mik_ultraa

Just lesbians asserting their dominance

♬ drivers license x rake it up – ian willy

Source: TikTok

Source: TikTok

Source: TikTok


How to tell if you are a lesbian or if you just really like wrestling other women?

Is it gay to enjoy wrestling other women privately? What about if your friend is wrestling with you and gets on top of you, and you get really turned on? What if you scissor but, like, with all your clothes on?

Wrestling can be an essential tool for self-discovery and sexual expression, especially for younger people or those who are still figuring out their sexuality. 

I know that my first lesbian experience included my girlfriend and I downing an entire bottle of $9 wine and wrestling at the infamous cast party for the high school musical. You know, one moment, you are harmlessly wrestling the girl you have a crush on, and in the next, your head is between her thighs.

But the truth is that just because you are a woman who enjoys wrestling with other women, competitively and otherwise, doesn’t necessarily mean you are a lesbian. Women who wrestle professionally have had more than their fair share of sexualization over the past two decades. 

It’s essential to separate sexual wrestling as a form of experimentation or play from the actual act of competitive wrestling. While watching two women wrestling can be extremely hot, let’s not perpetuate the male fetish stereotypes that all women wrestlers are lesbians and that wrestling itself is an inherently sexual act.

If you are looking for other lesbian wrestleheads, join HER, the best lesbian dating site in the world, to find a cutie to watch the next AEW match with you. Or maybe you can skip the show and just wrestle in bed instead (wink, wink). 

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Dusty Brandt Howard is a writer & a fighter. He is a trans masculine cultural narrator who builds worlds with words. You can follow his thirst traps on Instagram, his writing on Substack, or find him at your local queer bar in northeast LA.

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