Update 5:43PM EST: This article has been updated to include comments from IMPACT Wrestling executive vice president.

As Toronto prepares to celebrate Pride month, IMPACT Wrestling’s “The Quintessential Diva” Gisele Shaw is giving those gathering and the pro wrestling world another reason to celebrate.

During an appearance Friday on the Canadian morning show “Breakfast Television,” Shaw publicly came out as transgender — right before her appearances at Toronto Pride.

“Today, I’m fully living my life to the fullest; truly authentic, freely. And I am transgender and I’m very proud,” she said.

The out wrestler said it was “super scary” to make the announcement on live television, but that speaking about her identity helped her feel “more normalized.”

“I just feel more free and accepting of myself, and loving my own self. I think that’s really important,” Shaw said. “During Toronto Pride especially, it’s about being proud. It’s about being authentic and being true to yourself. It’s so important to love yourself.”

She also spoke about how her “Quintessential Diva” moniker takes on added significance and definition in the wake of her coming out.

“‘The Quintessential Diva’ to me is someone who is strong, confident, independent, smart and can kick some serious butt. That’s me.”

“I’ve known Gisele for a long time, I guess it’s been about five years,” IMPACT Wrestling executive vice president Scott D’Amore told Outsports. “She’s a wonderful, charismatic passionate woman. She has drive and a determination to succeed in pro wrestling. That’s what drew me to her and why we connected so well.

“She decided she wanted to share her truth and I think that is an amazing thing. I’ve had a front-row seat in the last little bit to see how she was preparing for the announcement and, even as we got ready for today, which is a monumental day, to see the change in her and how much lighter she seemed. It seemed like fear turned into excitement.

“She made the decision to live openly and be true to herself, and I don’t know if there’s a better decision a human being can make.”

Shaw’s announcement makes her the first trans-femme pro wrestler signed by IMPACT and the second to be signed by a major North American pro wrestling promotion. Former All Elite Wrestling Women’s World champion Nyla Rose became the first when she signed with AEW in 2019. Jamie Senegal is the only other out trans wrestler to ever appear for IMPACT in its history.

“One of the wonderful things about pro wrestling is how it draws people together from different cultures, walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds and we get to share a common experience. Inclusion and representation are truly important to IMPACT and our parent company, Anthem,” D’Amore said.

“It’s important that we have people that we see ourselves in and that can inspire us and provide hope. What’s great about Gisele’s announcement is it adds more diversity, not just for IMPACT Wrestling, but the wrestling business,” he continued. “I think there are people out there that Gisele will inspire. Many of them will be trans, and many of them won’t be. She’s going to be inspirational in so many different ways.

“She’s not here because she’s transgender. She’s here because she’s a talented professional wrestler in our Knockouts division, and our company, since day one, looked to provide diversity. You can’t have the second without the first, and you can’t have the third without the second,”

The seven-year in-ring veteran wrestled for high-profile promotions in North America and Europe, including Ring of Honor, before signing with IMPACT in May 2022. She previously held championships in U.K.-based promotions Progress Wrestling, Pro Wrestling EVE and Revolution Pro Wrestling.

She now joins a pro wrestling landscape whose population of out trans wrestlers and personalities is growing at the same rate it is being celebrated. Less than a week before Shaw’s announcement, Pro Wrestling VIBE held the first all-trans-femme main event in pro wrestling history featuring Candy Lee, Dark Sheik, Edith Surreal and referee Crystal at “Paris Is Bumping: The Legends Ball.”

Outsports congratulates Gisele Shaw on her empowering announcement and again showing that Courage Is Contagious.