Long before Priscilla Kelly was a pro wrestler, she appeared on My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, although it wasn't completely representative of her upbringing and life. She talked more about that show when she spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
"No disrespect to that TV show, but it was very much a fake story going into that. It was supposed to be one thing but it ended up being very scripted and not what we expected it to be," Kelly revealed before adding that the episode tried to make it look like she was trying to be married off at 14 and that was not the case.
"Everyone thinks that show was so true and accurate about how life really is. It's completely false; everyone still thinks I was trying to find a husband at 14 and that was the biggest lie. But I did grow up very strict and wasn't allowed to date or allowed to go out. I didn't have my first real boyfriend until I was 16 and that was hush-hush and I wasn't allowed to tell my parents. I was basically shamed from any type of sexuality and that does travel into my wrestling persona. That's why I became who I became. I was under such a strict household that I wanted to express myself."
Kelly said the men in her family were allowed to do whatever they wanted but the women had to act a certain way. With wrestling, she wanted to explore that and show how women can push the envelope.
"Women don't have to be shamed for anything different than men. That's all I wanted to tell was that we want to be treated equally," said Kelly.
She was then asked if any young gypsy girls have reached out to her.
"Some of them, but a lot of the times they're still stuck in that bubble. They were raised one way their whole life so they think what I do is horrible and that I'm a horrible person," stated Kelly. "But there are some that reach out to me and think it's awesome that I'm doing my own thing.
"So it's good to see different sides of it."
Indie talent Effy recently cut a promo at RISE's Pride & Joy about LGBTQ talent not being used year-round and Kelly shared her thoughts on that.
"I feel a lot of people want to do what's cool in the moment, but they're not talking about things 24/7...It's only because it's LGBTQ – it's June [Pride Month] so let's talk about it. We should always embrace that and talk about it," Kelly said before adding that she has a good friend who is gay and a great wrestler but he doesn't get many bookings because people don't take him seriously.
"It's sad to hear that you can't be taken seriously because of your look or sexuality. I think it's something that a light needs to be shined on, so he hit the point with everything he said."
Society has made strides in being more inclusive and Kelly was asked if pro wrestling is following a similar path in genuinely becoming more inclusive.
"I don't know. It's hard for me to say because I don't wanna speak on anyone's behalf because I'm not LGBTQ myself. I feel like everyone needs to be given a chance equally whether you're gay, straight, man or woman. The most important thing that I wanna put out there is that everybody deserves a chance and at the end of the day, people should be getting booked and getting pushed based on their talent, no matter who they are," said Kelly.
Priscilla Kelly will be in action at RISE's The Summit from Toronto on August 10th and Regional Rising Stars on September 1st from Berwyn, IL. Information for both shows is available via www.rise-wrestling.com/events. Her full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In it Kelly discusses what makes RISE special, her upcoming match with Jake Atlas, Effy's LGBTQ promo, backlash from her infamous "tampon spot", what a real women's revolution means to her, her conservative upbringing, her marriage to AEW's Darby Allin, her pro wrestling future and more.