Actress Niecy Nash and singer Jessica Betts were close friends for many years before they fell in love. Jessica assumed that Niecy was 100 percent straight, just as Niecy had assumed herself, until one night, newly single, Niecy began to see Jessica in a new light. They eventually married and two days later shared the news with the world.
Here’s how they described the moment on this week’s LGBTQ&A podcast.
Niecy: “I could not wait to just—”
Jessica: “Love you.”
Niecy: “Love you out loud. And you know that. I couldn’t wait.”
Jessica: “I remember.”
Niecy: “And you know, that was the thing that I was excited about the most, right?”
Niecy: “I cried about it. I prayed about it. I’m like, ‘I just want to love you.’ And then once we posted that picture...I felt so free.”
Jessica: “We jumped.”
Niecy: “We jumped. We jumped off the cliff and I felt so free.”
Niecy didn’t know what was going to happen when the world found out that she’d fallen in love with a woman, but that’s not the same thing as being nervous. “It wasn’t like I was living a lie. I loved the people who I loved when I was with them. Do you understand me? I wasn’t living a lie,” she says. “It wasn’t as much about me coming out as much as it was about me coming into myself, owning that I allowed myself to not only feel what I felt, but then to do something about what I felt. And then to love her enough and myself enough to be able to share our truth with the world.”
The expanse of Nash’s sexuality was a part of her, always, even if she didn’t know it was there until Betts came along. When friends would ask how they should respond to people who might ask questions about their relationship, Niecy always replies, “Tell them I’m happy.”
“We do what we do,” Betts explains. “We love each other. And it’s bringing normalcy to a place that people still at this day and time feel really uncomfortable with. And we don’t feel uncomfortable at all.”
Listen to the full interview with Niecy Nash and Jessica Betts on Apple Podcasts.
LGBTQ&A is The Advocate's weekly interview podcast hosted by Jeffrey Masters. Past guests include Pete Buttigieg, Laverne Cox, Brandi Carlile, and Roxane Gay. Episodes come out every Tuesday.