Niecy Nash-Betts │ Family Equality Visibility Award 2023

Niecy Nash-Betts receives Family Equality’s Visibility Award.

At Family Equality’s 2023 LA Impact gala, we honored actress Niecy Nash-Betts with the Visibility Award. With outstanding performances in hit shows like “Claws,” “When They See Us,” and “Never Have I Ever,” Niecy is no stranger to the impact of seeing our stories represented on-screen. But after publicly announcing her marriage to singer Jessica Betts in an Instagram post in 2020, representation and visibility took on a whole new meaning. “Nobody cared about anybody I loved until I loved Jessica,” said Niecy.

Allow me to reintroduce myself…

Niecy and Jessica began their relationship in private, which was difficult for a couple who wanted to express their affection openly. But for Niecy and Jessica, it felt important to build their relationship on their own terms before sharing it with the world. At 50 years old, Niecy feels she’s entered a new era for herself — but that doesn’t mean she feels like she’s “come out.”


“I was never in a closet to come out of,” said Niecy. “I just loved who I loved until I didn’t.” Although some of her friends have inquired about her identity, Niecy insists the label isn’t important — it’s all about the love she has for Jessica. She describes the last three years of their marriage as the best years of her life. 

Love and courage

“The good thing about fear is that it’s the only time you can use courage.” It takes courage to stand in your authenticity, but Niecy knew what she had found with Jessica was worth every ounce of courage she had. Once she stepped into that space, she was met with grace and support — and the wonder of being fully, truly known by another person.

“I wasn’t afraid to love Jessica. I was more afraid to not love her.” Here’s to love, family, and visibility. Congratulations, Niecy!

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