Gigi Dolin is very proud of her Romani heritage, and is very careful about how it’s presented.
Speaking on Monday’s episode of “Busted Open Radio,” the former Toxic Attraction member commented on wrestling being taboo when she grew up, her Romani heritage, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On wrestling being taboo when she grew up: “Wrestling, this is taboo for how I was raised. I came up in a culture where the women didn’t have jobs. They didn’t marry or date outside of the culture. They were taken out of public school. I wasn’t really allowed to have friends or go out and hang out with people. Doing what I do is taboo in itself.”
On growing up as a Romani person: “I am a Romani child gypsy. I grew up living an old school strict lifestyle. It’s an interesting lifestyle because I was sheltered growing up until I found wrestling, and I left home when I turned 18. I slept on couches, in cars, and I didn’t have money or have my parents in my life at that time. They were both dealing with addiction and issues like that growing up. I’ve been through the ringer. To be able to see where I came out of that is amazing. That’s why I’m so determined to give my brother this incredible life because he’s 11 years younger than me. He kind of got the trailing end of childhood without me in the picture to take him away from that. My goal in wrestling is to give him this incredible life.”
On why she’s hesitant to put her cultural background on screen: “It’s almost a hard thing to talk about because there is so much misconstrued information and stereotypes out there. It’s a touchy subject because a lot of people are ignorant to my ethnicity and culture that it gets thrown around a lot, what people assume about it.
“There was a TV show on TLC ten years ago called My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. I was a part of it when I was 14, I had a birthday party, I didn’t have a wedding. They took my story, which was supposed to be a birthday, and they stretched it and made it into this really disturbing, disgusting story of ‘Oh, her parents are trying to get her a husband at 14.’ That wasn’t the case whatsoever. Ever since then, I’ve been leery of how I present that because people can see that and misconstrue it or think it’s these stereotypical things they’ve seen on TV. That’s why I have to be careful when I talk about it in the public eye.”
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