Monday, November 29, 2021

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Diva Dirt Discussions – Mickie James, Gail Kim, Maria Kanellis talk Tag Me In

Tag Me In United launched earlier this month with the goal of undoing the stigma surrounding mental health.

We were joined by three pioneers of women’s wrestling. Mickie James, Gail Kim and Maria Kanellis for a positive and open conversation about mental health in the wrestling business.

James started the conversation explaining how she became involved in the project:

“Christy and Gail you all contacted me after you know Daphne’s passing. I think that hit all of us on different levels. It kind of triggered a few things just because we’ve lost a lot of friends in this industry from mental health.

Things that have like you know come from that it just kind of it’s really powerful. I think it’s something that we all kind of steer away from talking about because it’s such a masculine sport. Such an adrenaline and like you know aggressive sport that you’re not supposed to seem weak. But we are still human at the end of the day and we are very weak and especially us because we’re such girly girls I mean we’re very tough don’t get me wrong but we are clearly girls at the end of the day and we are sensitive and we feel and we kind of you know we’re really hurting on different levels.”

Kim added:

“I think it really just kind of started, we’re all in the same generation. Obviously myself, Maria and Mickey and the Christy’s and Lita‘s and everyone, we all kind of came together in a smaller way for Ashley. When that all happened and I think we saw really good things happen when we started speaking with one another and working with one another and opening up that conversation. Then Daphne hit recently and it, I don’t know it just may be because we saw her face I don’t know what it was but we’re just like you know what this is enough and we don’t want to just say ‘okay it happened we’re so sad’ we knew we could make some changes.

There’s no face to this whole campaign, because we wanted it to be the wrestling community more than anything because we truly did believe that we could achieve more together and make it about you know the whole topic of mental health as opposed to a certain wrestling personality or a wrestling company.

I think that we just really wanted to normalize the conversation. We’re all kind of spread out throughout the industry and so we all just kind of reached out to who we knew and I think everyone whether we knew or not knows somebody or maybe ourselves we are affected by mental health matters and whether it’s small or big or whatever it may be because once we release this campaign and people started speaking up.

There are people that I’ve known for years that have not spoken about it and have now spoken about it and every now there’s fans or even other wrestlers who feel okay and feel safe to be able to speak about it and I think it’s it was a really group effort.”

Kanellis continued:

“Yeah it was it was a huge group effort and like Gail said when Ashley passed it hit us all incredibly hard and I think when that moment happened we realized that we all needed to start leaning on each other in a bigger way.

Then as time had passed it was like you were making these connections with people you hadn’t talked to in a long time and you realized you know different things that were going on in their lives. Then when Daphne passed and I didn’t know Daphne that well, but I do know that she was loved by a lot of people and just to see the reaction from the wrestling community has been amazing.

I think as you know as angry as some people can get online you know about different wrestling companies and things such as that and competing against each other behind the scenes a lot of us are friends. A lot of us it doesn’t matter what company you’re in we do cross all those different boundaries in friendship and so this campaign really showcases that and trying to support each other. Like Gail said there’s people that have reached out to me since this campaign happened that maybe aren’t ready to speak about things publicly but they don’t feel alone anymore, so they can express their story to me or to their other friends and I think just having that community whether it’s public or behind the scenes is really nice to have.”

Check out the full converstation below:

Diva Dirt is proud to partner with this initiative as it encompasses wrestlers from all over “to normalize a conversation about mental health, rid the mental health stigma and reiterate that those affected are never alone.”

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