Home Oklahoma raises issue over trans woman Nyla Rose wrestling on AEW ‘Dynamite’

Oklahoma raises issue over trans woman Nyla Rose wrestling on AEW ‘Dynamite’

Chris Graham
nyla rose aew
Photo: AEW

The Oklahoma State Athletic Commission has issued a formal warning to AEW because of a Dec. 20 match on “Dynamite” in which former AEW women’s world champ Nyla Rose wrestled Alejandra Lion.

The reason for the warning: Nyla Rose is transgender; Alejandro Lion is not.

Well, that’s part of the issue.

The other part: Oklahoma is Oklahoma.

The commission, at its Jan. 3 meeting, unanimously passed a resolution “to warn AEW not to do this again, or there will be punitive action made against them if they do.”

This is coming out now, three months later, due to on-the-spot local reporting by several Oklahoma news outlets.

Rose, 41, a native of Washington, D.C., who grew up in Northern Virginia, started her wrestling career on the indies in 2013, and earned a spot in the upstart AEW in 2019, becoming the first trans woman to sign with a top-level U.S. wrestling promotion.

She won the AEW women’s world title in 2020 and held the belt for three months.

Note that I write “she.”

That much should be obvious, right?

The OSAC, in its meeting minutes, misgendered Rose, referring to her with male pronouns, because that’s what this was really all about, politics and bigotry.

Oklahoma, in 2021, enacted a law barring trans athletes from competing against cisgender athletes.

Word must not have yet gotten to the folks in Oklahoma that wrestling is, well, I don’t want to be the one to tell them that Santa Claus ain’t real, but the rest of you know.

The other bit of info that seems to have flown over that particular sector of flyover country: 1.6 million Americans 13-and-over identify as trans, according to data from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

Which is to say, Nyla Rose isn’t alone.

Among the trans population, 40.4 percent have attempted suicide, according to Williams Institute numbers, with the key risk factors being experiences of discrimination, stigma and family rejection.

You see how these officials in Oklahoma have handled this Nyla Rose thing, which shouldn’t have even been a thing – it was a wrestling match, for chrissakes – and you don’t have to wonder why mental-health issues are rampant in the trans community.

Rose, for her part, at least publicly, took the diss from the OSAC in stride.

“Don’t worry Oklahoma, I’ll find the dastardly Transgender that *checks notes* entertained fans!!! HOW DARE THEY MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY?!!!” Rose tweeted.


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Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].