Shaw is a Filipino-Canadian wrestler who worked on the independent circuit since 2015 before signing with IMPACT in 2022. Known as the Quintessential Diva, Shaw sat down with Denise Salcedo to share how she feels one year since announcing her truth.
“So much has happened, but I feel like with the year that’s passed by, I have had time to really accept myself and be my true authentic self, and just live as happily as I can. I’ve grown, you know, not only personally but also professionally. It’s been amazing. It’s a new chapter in my life that I didn’t know what was going to happen, and I’m just here for the ride and I’m just happy that I took that leap,” she said. (Fightful)
Shaw shared her worries and her stress leading up to the decision and has talked about how people reacted. She did an episode of Diary with IMPACT where she opened up as well.
“So I did say my in my Diary that before I told my story, and it was such a struggle, you know, waking up every single day thinking like – I would go about my regular day, and then thinking, ‘Oh, I can’t really enjoy being in a restaurant with people’, because I’m constantly thinking, ‘Do these people know?’ Because they’re looking and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God, like, what’s going on?’ It just gives me such anxiety and even meeting new people. It really stressed me out, too. It’s just mentally draining. Then telling my story, it was just such a relief. It was like, ‘Okay, cool. I can breathe. It doesn’t matter what people think now, and I can enjoy my life freely.’ Like I said, it’s just very liberating to experience life fully the way it’s supposed to be. It’s been such an amazing journey and just amazing in general that I get to just be me.”
She went into more detail about how her family felt when she first told them and then after she came out publicly how those in her professional life took the news.
“So my parents, they had a hard time accepting it at the beginning. But now they’re just so supportive and I love it. And my sisters, they’ve always been supportive since day one. I’m really fortunate to have that with them. At work, I mean, everyone, management, front office, talent, you name it, everyone is just super, super supportive. I’m just fortunate to have that because I don’t want to be going to work and be like, ‘Oh my God, here I go again. I have to go to work, and now I have to experience bigotry and discrimination and all that stuff from people.’ Your workplace is kind of like your second family. For them to just be like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re so happy for you, and we just love you,’ and just to be accepting, it’s been really, really great. And the fans, oh my gosh! So I’ve always thought, you know, there’s always going to be that one person here or there that’s gonna say something negative about it, but it’s like if you say something negative about me, they’re there and they’re just like this army that’s ready to defend me at all costs. I appreciate them so much, and I love them. I’m so fortunate to have that from the fans, from my family, and from my co-workers because not everyone has that support. Hopefully I’m able to support those people that unfortunately don’t have that in their lives.“
Luckily, Shaw has a support system and continues to love her for who she is. With that being said, we all know not everyone is kind and accepting. She has decided to react to those who treat her in a negative way with the thought that regardless of who you are someone will have something to say about you.
“So, you know, it’s something that I actually had to learn how to deal with because no matter if it’s a positive or a negative comment, I see it all online. IMPACT would say, ‘Hey, you know what, we can block those. You don’t have to see it.’ I think for me it’s so important that I see those because those are – It’s a part of me to grow and be like, ‘You know what? Those comments shouldn’t affect me.’ Because at the end of the day, no matter who you are, no matter what you are, people are going to say something because somewhere, someone out there is very unhappy. Or they just want to stay relevant or they want to be in the conversation to feel like they’re included. Whatever they do doesn’t reflect what I do. That’s something that I had to learn and really accept and be like, ‘You know what, it’s not me, it’s them. I’m out here living my best life. I’m inspiring people. I’m raising awareness. I’m educating people, I’m empowering people,’ and that’s the most important thing for me and this is why I do this. Not only for the people in the community, but for the generation now, for the generation that came before, and the next generation. Yeah, okay, sometimes I may look at a negative comment, but then I remember that I live rent free in this person’s head, so I love it,” Shaw said.
Shaw can currently be seen in the Knockouts division with IMPACT Wrestling where she wrestles weekly. She will also be on the upcoming season of The Amazing Race Canada with IMPACT Hall of Famer Gail Kim.
For the full interview you can watch it below.