Niecy Nash and wife Jessica Betts are The Advocate’s later cover stars. “Actress Niecy Nash like you’ve never seen her,” the spread boldly states, and I’m inclined to believe them!
It’s an endearing profile, chronicling their early romance and the cataclysmic series of events that led to their eventual wedding in the summer of 2020. “When we first started dating, when no one knew, she would just cry,” Betts told The Advocate. “She would cry because it was almost as if she was not able to show her love. And we had to tell each other we loved each other in secret.” According to Nash, Betts was already her close friend “of many years” before they even considered a romantic relationship. But after Nash’s divorce from Jay Tucker, the two found themselves doing what they always did: grabbing takeout and watching movies. Betts said that one night, Nash placed a hand on her neck, and she thought: “Damn. I could love again.”
Fuck!!! That’s so romantic.
Cat and mouse games ensued. Betts tried texting Nash the next day, who began to ignore her. Nash, meanwhile, said she had things to figure out, but ultimately relented, because, “She was all I could think about. I was like, I never want to imagine a future without this being... I don’t want that.” Betts then recounted a story that feels like a turning point in their romance:
“When we first started dating, when no one knew, she would just cry,” Betts recalls. “She would cry because it was almost as if she was not able to show her love. And we had to tell each other we loved each other in secret.” They were grocery shopping one day in the middle of lockdown when Betts heard the sudden sound of Nash’s crying.
“I’m just standing in the middle of the aisle like, ‘Ahhhhh!’” Nash admits, making the sound of someone stabbed in the heart. “She [Betts] comes from around the corner and said, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ I was like, ‘I just want to hold your hand in the grocery store.’”
Also of note is the way Nash reframed her “coming out” as “coming into myself,” contrary to the projected narrative on their relationship when they first appeared publicly last summer.
“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. 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.”
There’s also this heart-wrenching moment between Betts and Nash, as they summarized their feelings after posting their wedding photograph on Instagram.
Still, Nash acknowledged, making the leap to coming out about the relationship was scary. “I cried about it. I prayed about it. And then once we posted that picture...I felt so free.” “We jumped,” Betts adds. “We jumped,” Nash echoes. “We jumped off the cliff and I felt so free.”
I feel free just reading about it! Best of luck to these two—they deserve it.