IMPACT Knockout Gisele Shaw is speaking out against the anti-trans remarks she received at WrestleCon. This took place on Friday, March 31.
Shaw states it was WWE Hall of Famer Rick Steiner who was the one hurling insults. And despite the unprovoked derogatory comments, no one else in present company stood up for her.
Shaw writes –
I have been bullied all my life and have never stood up for myself because I’m scared that I would get beat up physically, mentally, or emotionally. The bullies in my life have always silenced me, but that ends today!
I was at an autograph signing event today at Wrestlecon and while I was walking to my table, I hear someone yelling “you’re a man” “you’re a dude,” “you’re a piece of trash,” “You are filth,” “get the fuck away from here.” I kept my head down and kept walking as I did not want to acknowledge that hate. When I arrived at my table, I spoke to another IMPACT Wrestling talent who was at the signing with me and mentioned the incident. It didn’t sit well with me and I wanted to know who was saying that because it’s unacceptable, so I decided to take a walk in that area and I hear that same person saying the same derogatory comments. I looked at the person and it was Rick Steiner saying those statements. I was shocked and could not believe that this was even happening. To have someone saying those comments who a lot of people look up to and consider their hero was quite shocking and disheartening. I was in disbelief so I asked him, “excuse me?!” He kept repeating those hateful phrases and started yelling at me in a public setting. It was inexcusable and unacceptable!
Another disappointing part about this whole incident was that there were other wrestling legends who just sat there, turned their heads away, did not want to get involved, or stand up for what’s right because it involved “one of the boys.” Judging from that experience, it was more important for them to watch something wrong go down as supposed to standing up for someone who’s being bullied and doing what’s right.
I am not writing this because I want sympathy. I am writing this because I am done being bullied to silence. Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility and I am standing up for myself and for other people who go through the exact same situation on a daily basis. I want everyone to know what kind of a deplorable person Rick Steiner is and that this cannot be tolerated. This keeps happening because people let it slide and do not take any action. If you do business with these type of people then I will not to do business with you.
I want to thank all my IMPACT peers who were present during the incident and tried to diffuse the situation. Unfortunately a member of that same peer group was also verbally accosted by Rick Steiner being called a “faggot” earlier in the day. I am very fortunate to be working alongside such incredible people in a company that has no room for hate, bullying or judgment. We’re not just co-workers, but a family.
Those legends surrounding Steiner may not have opened their mouths to help out Shaw, but she is receiving tons of support online. Those who have spoken out include – Nyla Rose, Lance Storm, Moose, Gail Kim, Diamante, Lio Rush, Allison Danger, Rosemary, Matthew Rehwoldt, Nicole Savoy, Savannah Evans, Jessicka Havok, and more…
“WrestleCon regrets the events that took place at yesterday’s convention and apologizes to Gisele Shaw. We aim to promote a safe and inclusive environment for all LGBTQAI+ members of the wrestling community. The issue has been addressed and we hope the remainder of the convention can be a positive experience for all.“