It’s Pride! Throughout June, HollywoodLife is running The Sound Of Pride, a month-long feature where members of the LGBTQ+ community pick songs that should be on your Pride 2022 playlist. Entering the ring now is All Elite Wrestling’s Nyla Rose, who switches things up with the playlist by adding a dash of diva, a touch of electro, and a nugget of …classic nu-metal?
Such unexpected facets can only come from Nyla. Known as “The Native Beast,” the “American Kaiju,” and the bane of Serpentico’s existence, Nyla made history in 2019 when she became the first openly transgender wrestler in a major American promotion. Since the launch of AEW, Nyla has become the first openly transgender champion in a major American wrestling promotion, capturing the AEW Women’s World Championship in February 2020. Though Nyla is far from the only openly transgender wrestler today, her role in AEW gives her a huge platform, and she’s using it to spread a message of positivity this Pride Month.
“Times may seem bleak, but that’s exactly why we can’t stop pushing and fighting for what’s right,” Nyla tells HollywoodLife. Pride 2022 comes amidst a wave of Republican lawmakers pushing anti-trans legislation and the Texas GOP adopting a platform where they refer to homosexuality as “an abnormal lifestyle choice” (h/t NBC News). Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill – which bars classrooms from speaking about sexual orientation or gender identity for students in kindergarten through third grade – has been adopted by more states. Critics claim that Republican legislatures are masking homophobia behind unfounded claims of teachers “indoctrinating” children.
Sadly, this is nothing new. Anita Bryant most famously launched the “Save Our Children” campaign in 1977, using what leftover fame she scored as a Top 40 singer to become one of the most prominent anti-LGBTQ+ activists of her time. Thankfully, as anyone familiar with the Stonewall Uprising knows, the LGBTQ+ community will not go without a fight. “The negativity seems the loudest,” says Nyla, “because we are all making an impactful change. We can’t stop now!”
One can’t stop now, be it celebrating those LGBTQ+ revolutionaries who fought for acceptance or the revolutionary act of dancing while gay. Here are Nyla’s picks for The Sound Of Pride.
Be sure to catch the stars of AEW and New Japan Pro Wrestling at Forbidden Door, taking place on June 26 from the United Center in Chicago. The AEW x NJPW event will be broadcast live on PPV at 8 pm ET, so be sure to catch every exciting moment.
Beyoncé, “Break My Soul”
Nyla: Literally anything by Beyoncé, because c’mon, it’s Beyoncé!
Editor’s Note: Since Beyoncé features the legendary Big Freedia on her new song, “Break My Soul,” we feel that this will be a good candidate to fill Nyla’s suggestion.
GRiZ Ft. Wreckno, “Medusa”
[This song is] just a fun, upbeat song by an LGBT artist! A bit of a banger, as the kids say. How could you NOT include it?!
Static-X, “Push It”
It might not be very “pride-y,” but this song gets the adrenaline going, and with all the hateful laws coming out, we have to continue to push back the hate.
HollywoodLife: We’re asking everyone to do a vibe check on Pride 2022. What is the overall attitude for this year’s Pride Month?
I could be wrong, but it feels like people are ready to celebrate and release some pent-up energy between literally not being able to get out the last two years because of the pandemic and the recent hate-filled laws that have been coming out, people need some hope and positivity.
We’re also using this time to help shine the light on any unsung heroes of the past. Do you have anyone you’d like to get more recognition?
This is a bit of a tough question as a lot of people who I wish could have that spotlight aren’t ready themselves to be out in the spotlight, but I want them to know that their efforts matter and are appreciated!
Do you have any plans for Pride 2022? Any Pride traditions?
Sadly, no. My schedule has been so crazy, in a good way, that I wasn’t able to make any actual plans, but I will definitely keep my options open for any activities that may work with my schedule. Usually, however, I love attending the street festival here in DC. It’s miles long with tons of great people, food, and entertainment. I definitely recommend it!