An interview with Aly Mustain of “Made: Dream Bigger”


On last night’s Made: Dream Bigger, 20-year-old Aly Mustain wanted to become a full-fledged member of the Denver Derby Dolls. The out lesbian wasn’t just dealing with some bumps and bruises on the track, though; she faced troubles at home with an unsupportive mom and was strained for time with her girlfriend Courtney. By the end of the episode, it was clear that what Aly wanted was different then what she thought she might. The only thing that didn’t waver was her love of derby.

With the help of her coach, Disco, Aly was able to move into her own place and score a place on a Denver Roller Dolls team. She was still working on repairing her relationship with her mom, but she was through with Courtney for the time being. We talked with Aly about letting the cameras into her life and where you can see her become her alter-ego Aly Tsunami in the near future. I couldn’t help but notice that your mom’s fiance has tattoos, and yet she freaks out about yours! What’s the deal?

Aly Mustain: That’s a great question, I suppose it’s because I’m her daughter and maybe she feels that she could have prevented me from making the mistake of getting tattooes. I think my mother things that I will regret them later in life.

AE: I loved when you said your mom felt that derby was just “a bunch of lesbians” running into one another. While that’s not true, derby is definitely a sport that gay chicks love — why do you think that is?

AM: I think that roller derby is a sport full of quirky, [fearless] and independent women and part of having the courage to be openly gay requires many of those attributes.

AE: It seemed like your mom is supportive of your being gay and approved of Courtney in your life. Has she always been like that?

AM: It may seem that way, but my mom and her fiancé did not like Courtney at all when we started dating. Later on they said it had to do with her character and that they got a bad vibe about her. I defended her, and regret it now obviously because they were right. I wonder if the excitement of both the show and roller derby prevented me from seeing through Courtney’s false character.

AE: What was the hardest part of being on Made? Was there something you wished they hadn’t caught on camera or that you didn’t expect them to?

AM: The hardest part about being on Made was feeling like I had to be much more tough than I was actually feeling. I felt like I had to bust my ass harder than anyone else. I regret breaking up on national television, for certain, and never intended to show America my poor relationship with my mother, but it has benefited us both. I feel like an adult.

AE: When did you realize you wanted to make the change in your life to be who you wanted to be? What prompted it and what gave you the strength to come out and to change yourself?

AM: I was very unhappy with who I was becoming, especially because I felt like I was always trying to be prefect in my moms eyes. Once I realized that wasn’t going to happen and that I was jeopardizing my happiness, I decided to live the life I wanted and I was ready for the consequences. I slowly surrounded myself with more gay friends who gave me the courage to be open and accepting of my sexual orientation.

AE: Where can people watch your bouts or find out more information on your team?

AM: Best question! We play at the First Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado. Our next bout is July 21 at 6:00pm. Disco and I will be playing together!

AE: Now that you’re on a team, will you be taking it to the next level and trying out for the all-star team? What is next for you?

AM: Absolutely. I just made the junior travel team and have the highest hopes of joining the all-star Mile High Club. I have a two year goal.

AE: What advice would you give to someone whose relationship with their mom was strained like yours was?

AM: Personally, moving out made the world of a difference. However maybe a different situation I would encourage someone to listen, and try to understand where the other person is coming from. [Forgiving] is really important.

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