This profile is part five of Queerty’s 2020 Out For Good series, recognizing public figures who’ve had the courage to come out and make a difference in the past year, in celebration of National Coming Out Day on October 11.
Name: Niecy Nash, 50
Bio: Niecy Nash grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of Palmdale, the daughter of a working mother. She landed her first professional acting gig in 1995 with the film Boys on the Side and worked steadily thereafter, nabbing parts in ER, Girlfriends and NYPD Blue. Her breakout role came in 2003 with her iconic performance as Deputy Raineesha Williams on the improv comedy Reno 911!, a role she has continued to play on and off ever since. She also landed a hosting gig on the reality series Clean House for the Style Network; the show even earned her an Emmy Award. Nash took a leading role in the TNT series Claws playing the owner of a nail salon and kingpin of a mafia family. She also waded into drama, nabbing an Emmy nomination for her role in the limited series When They See Us.
Prior to getting into acting, Nash worked with her mom who founded the charity organization Mothers Against Violence in Schools; Nash’s brother died in a school shooting in 1993. Today, she also serves as a spokesperson for the charity.
Coming Out: Nash shocked her fans and the Hollywood establishment in August 2020 when she announced her marriage to singer Jessica Betts; the actress had previously married and divorced two men. Betts confirmed the marriage on her own Instagram account, simply writing “I got a whole Wife @niecynash1 #Bestofbothworlds #LoveWins.” The announcement of nuptials took the world off guard, as Nash had never publicly commented on her own bisexuality, though she had long expressed support for the LGBTQ community.
How My Family Grew: People come out in all kinds of ways: on social media, in interviews, or occasionally by getting caught in a compromising situation. Sometimes though, coming out can be a matter of fact. Niecy Nash didn’t need lots of fanfare or drama to go public; rather, she just let the world know she is in love and happily married.
In an interview with People, Nash downplayed the significance of her reveal. “[My marriage] has absolutely nothing to do with gender and it has everything to do with her soul,” she said. “She is the most beautiful soul I have ever met in my life…I love who I love. At one point in my life, I married twice and I love those people. And today I love this person. I’ve done everything I wanted to do on my own terms and my own way. So my choice now in a partner has nothing to do with who I’ve always been. It’s a matter of who I am in this moment.”
Nash also added: “I don’t feel like my marriage is my coming out of anywhere, but rather a going into myself and being honest about who I love. And I’m not limiting myself on what that love is supposed to look like.”
Damn right. We applaud Nash’s candor, salute her honesty and courage in being herself, and thank her for being a great example to other bisexual people the world over.
Welcome to the family, Niecy.