Niecy Nash opens up about realising her queerness while making Essence history with ‘hersband’

Niecy Nash and Jessica Betts cover Essence magazine

Niecy Nash and Jessica Betts have become the first same-sex couple to cover Essence magazine in a stunning shoot celebrating “Black Women in Hollywood”.

The loved-up couple, who have been married for nearly two years, wowed fans with the stunning cover which saw them topless, with Nash looking at the camera while Betts cradles her face.

Nash, 52, proudly revealed the cover on Instagram and wrote: “Making HERSTORY! Thank you @essence for choosing The Betts as your FIRST same sex couple to cover you magazine! #BettsOfWorlds #MakingHistory #Herstory #BlackHistoryMonth”.

The Claws star made it clear that the couple were thrilled to have love story be a source of inspiration to others, as she shared an emotional caption alongside images from the shoot.

“Our prayer is that we contribute to normalising loving who you love out loud,” Niecy Nash wrote.

“We hope you find your voice and stand in your truth…. knowing that you were designed by the creator – who makes no mistakes.”

Empire star Taraji P Henson praised the cover, calling it “breathtaking”.

“Exceptional. Exquisite. Everything!” award-winning director Ava DeVernay added, while musician Kelechi commented: “I know that’s right! And we love to see it.”

Fans couldn’t praise the cover enough as one wrote: “Thank you for sharing your joy and Pride with us! Absolutely stunning!”

“During the month of Black history ….. y’all ate that” another commented, as one fan stated: “Such a beautiful cover and beautiful moment.”

Niecy Nash found it ‘challenging’ realising she was attracted to a woman – and her friend

Niecy Nash surprised fans when she announced she had married Jessica Betts in 2020. She had previously been in relationships with men and had never spoken publicly about her sexuality.

Nash opened up to Essence, saying: “The least of my attraction is gender. What I was and am still attracted to is Jessica’s soul. She was the most beautiful soul I had ever met in my life. Now that I’ve experienced it, I can’t imagine going through life without it.”

The star added that she had been shy to reveal her feelings to Betts due to their friendship.

“Not only was it challenging for me to realise I’m having feelings for a woman that I’ve normally had for a man, but it was compounded by the fact that this is my friend,” she sad.

“I thought, ‘What I do not want to do is anything that would allow this person to not be in my life for the rest of my life.'”

The Uncorked star and her “hersband” tied the knot at a beautiful, heartfelt ceremony which she revealed on Instagram in September 2020.

“Mrs Carol Denise Betts,” Nash captioned the post, using her full legal name, along with an emoji of an engagement ring and the hashtag #LoveWins.

Nash has been a longtime supporter of the LGBT+ community, and she has played several queer roles on-screen throughout her lengthy career.