Karine Jean-Pierre
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Niecy Nash Reveals How She Identifies After Marrying Jessica Betts

Niecy Nash and daughter Dia

Niecy Nash, who fell in love with her best friend, Jessica Betts, and married her in 2020, admits to being a bit mystified by all the designators on the sexuality and gender spectrum.

Ahead of Nash’s marriage to Betts, Nash’s youngest daughter, Dia, asked her mother how she identified. Nash had had two marriages to men previously.

“Dia, your youngest, really wanted you to label things,” Tamron Hall said to Nash on Tuesday’s episode of Hall’s eponymous talk show. “We talk so much about LGBTQ+, binary, nonbinary, and I know people were asking, well what is Niecy Nash? Is she bisexual? You were getting these questions.”

“My daughter was like, ‘How do you identify?’ I said, ‘Huh?’” Nash recalled. Her answer, she said, was “Black and your mama.”

That didn’t satisfy Dia. “She made me watch a show about all the labels and all the names, and after it was over, my head was spinning,” Nash said. When Dia again asked Nash how she identified, the actress responded, “I’m more confused now than I was before this. I don’t know.  If I have to coin it in the moment, I’d say, ‘I’m a Jess-sexual.’ I’ve never looked at anyone, male or female, and seen them the way I see her.”

Nash is an Emmy Award-winning actress who’s appeared in shows including Claws, When They See Us, Scream Queens, and Reno 911! Betts is a singer and had been a close friend to Nash for many years before they fell in love.

“It wasn’t like I was living a lie,” Nash said of her earlier relationships in an Advocate interview last year. “I loved the people who I loved when I was with them. Do you understand me? I wasn’t living a lie. And I didn’t want that to be anything that was kept in the shadows or in dark corners even. So 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.”

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