At the age of 28, Amanda Nunes has not only become the first Brazilian UFC bantamweight female champion, but she’s also broken barriers as UFC’s first openly gay champ. In an interview with Fox News Latino, Nunes discussed what being openly gay means to her, and sheds some light on what it’s like to be queer in Latino America.
“I want to show everyone that I am happy with my life,” said Nunes. “I want to show that you can do anything you want. I want to help at least one person that saw me by motivating them and showing strength. I think I did my part. Maybe I helped one person get stronger. Love is love, and we have to show that the most important part is love. We have to respect each other.”
Nunes was asleep when the tragic shooting at Orlando’s Pulse night club occurred, waking up in utter shock and confusion. Hatred in the LGBT community is something she is somewhat accustomed to being from South America.
“In Brazil, people are still in shock if you see someone of the same gender holding hands,” she explained. “People don’t accept it yet. But I think they are changing. In Brazil, gay people are showing up on television […] When I was living in Brazil I had to be careful. In America, it’s different. I can hold my girlfriend’s hand and no one will say anything. America gave me so much power to do that. I am happy.”
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When she isn’t standing up for equality on social media, Nunes is fighting for her dreams inside the ring. Recently beating fellow UFC fighter Meisha Tata in the first round at UFC 200, Nunes claimed it was her “dream come true.” Now, she hopes to take on former champion, Ronda Rousey.
“She is big in the sport,” she said. “She is the first one to make it happen. Many have been waiting for her. She was a dominant fighter in this division. I think it’ll be amazing to fight her […] It would be a huge fight.”