Out pro wrestler Mariah Moreno couldn’t imagine 10 years ago having the opportunity she has ahead of her at Saturday’s Paris is Bumping: Solid Gold ‘21. She never would have thought she’d be regarded as a “living legend” in queer pro wrestling circles, or that she would’ve been required for a historic moment in pro wrestling.

Yet the decade-plus ring veteran finds herself set to bask in all these honors and have her legacy celebrated.

Moreno is of the first generation of out trans women in professional wrestling, commonly referred to as a trailblazer for LGBTQ pro wrestling and recognized by many as the first out trans pro wrestler.

Her place in LGBTQ pro wrestling history is exactly why her selection to face fellow trans wrestler Edith Surreal in Paris is Bumping’s originally scheduled main-event match, the first in pro wrestling history to feature all trans women, was a no-brainer.

“I’m completely honored. When Billy announced that, I had no idea that he was planning on putting me in the main event,” Moreno said on the Outsports podcast LGBT In The Ring. “The whole main event part is weighing on me, but I’m super excited.”

While that historic main event had to be changed due to an injury to Surreal, Moreno is still featured in the show closer, teaming up with Dixon, Erica Leigh and Ashton Starr against Darius Carter, Molly McCoy, Killian McMurphy and a mystery partner in an eight-person tag team match with the PIB Grand Prize championship on the line.

Moreno herself pushes back on the “first” moniker somewhat, choosing to recognize herself alongside fellow trans groundbreakers like “The Broken Doll” Roxy, Aubrey St. John and Destiny Pain.

No matter the context, Moreno remains an influential figure that many in the current LGBTQ pro wrestling movement point to as an inspiration.

That influence is why Paris is Bumping creator Billy Dixon chose Moreno for the ballroom-meets-wrestling show’s original historic main event and induction into “Paris Honors,” the show’s Hall of Fame.

“I think that it’s important to give people their flowers while they can still smell them,” Dixon told Outsports. “I think it’s just really important for us to remember those that paved the way for us in whatever capacity.

“Mariah Marino bled a lot, fought a lot, was treated like absolute fucking shit, so that we could have the Edith Surreals and Candy Lees of the world. She really laid the groundwork that I think stuck the most.

“Sometimes, in entertainment, we’re all about ‘what have you done for me lately,’ and ‘who’s the next big thing’ and we forget about the people that have made it easy for that person to exist. It doesn’t sit right with me to know that this woman is still actively competing and performing and has not gotten her flowers.”

For Moreno, being part of the inaugural “Paris Honors” class feels “surreal,” especially since she only saw herself as someone living her dream.

“I would never imagined that I would be seen as a trailblazer,” Moreno said. “I did what I did because it was a dream. … It’s an honor to be seen the way that I am. It’s an honor to see all the girls do things today.

“I’m more excited to be in that locker room than anything to be honest. I want to meet a lot of these people. I want to make memories with them backstage and have fun, laugh, and share a drink or two. That, to me, is the most important thing.”

Moreno is quick to point out that her fellow trans trailblazers deserve the same celebration.

“I just wish that they all got recognition as well, because they all deserve their flowers,” Moreno said. “They all put something in it. They all did something in their territory, in their areas, where they educated people and showed people who they were as individuals and as professional wrestlers.”

Paris is Bumping; Solid Gold ‘21 emanates live from Ridgefield Park, NJ on Saturday, July 10, and will debut on Independentwrestling.tv later this year. Listen to the full interview with Mariah Moreno on the Outsports podcast LGBT In The Ring. Download and listen to new episodes every Thursday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all other podcast services.

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