‘It’s progress’: How AEW’s Nyla Rose raises transgender awareness

Nyla Rose. (Photo Credit: AEW)

As a public figure, Nyla Rose has learned how to drown out the noise on social media.

Although the 38-year-old All Elite Wrestling star receives negative and hate-filled messages on the internet, those aren’t the ones that get to her. Instead, Rose focuses on the messages that let her know she’s doing her job — not just as a professional wrestler, but as a symbol for an entire community.

“I love every bit of positive energy, but what means more for me is when someone will message me with an apology,” Rose told Yahoo Sports. “It’s usually something to the effect of ‘Hey, I was uneducated on the subject. I was ignorant before, but I’ve come around and see what you’re doing. I understand now.’ It shows people are understanding, respecting, and accepting us in their own time. It’s progress. It may not be where we want it to be or need it to be, but it is progress nonetheless.”

‘Once I learned what transgender was, everything just kind of clicked’

In 2019, Rose became the first openly transgender wrestler to be signed to a major promotion when she joined AEW, then in its fledgling stage. Despite becoming one of the faces of the company’s women’s division and is a former champion, Rose’s journey to AEW — and of discovering her identity as a transgender woman — did not happen overnight.