Nicolette Popa has the ideal happy family image with her husband of six years and first child together. The 26-year-old, however, had been keeping a secret her whole life from her husband: she’s gay.
Years after they were married, the two decided to stay together to co-parent their two children together.
The mom-of-two admitted that she’s actually known she was lesbian for a while, but living in a conservative area in Missouri stopped her from ever being open about it. Until she was six years into her marriage.
She explains their arrangement, “We’re still married and we still live together in our house with our kids. For right now, what we do works. We’re trying to figure out our careers and trying to make sure that our kids have the best outcome.”
Nicolette, who shares about her married life on social media, receives praises from women in similar situations.
“Ryan’s often gone so he doesn’t get to see the kids often. I’m trying to figure out my new career while raising our kids,” the delivery driver shared. “We’re prioritizing family life over the dating side of things. It’s about making sure the kids are happy, making sure they know they’re loved, and for them to have both parents around as much as possible.”
“Me and Ryan have maintained this friendship, he’ll always be my best friend.”
“We grew up hunting and fishing and all that stuff, Ryan’s family are pretty religious too. It wasn’t really a thing to be gay when I was growing up. Deep down I thought about it, but I was terrified.”
“But as I got older, it just felt like I had this weight on my chest. I knew that there was something that I needed to figure out.”
“I talked to Ryan about it and said, “Listen, I just kind of feel this way about myself and I don’t know if that’s weird, and how you’ll feel about it.” He was basically like, “Okay that’s cool, women are great.” This was six years into our marriage.”
“When I came out, it was just to him for a while, because I wasn’t sure how we wanted to navigate it.”
Ryan, on the other side, had been waiting for her to bring it up in a conversation and has been her “biggest supporter”. He said, “It wasn’t a shock when Nicolette came out. I started to have suspicions but I wasn’t going to ask, I was going to wait for her to tell me herself. I waited for her to come to me about it.”
“She really emphasized being a tomboy, the way she was dressing, she was embracing it more.”
Ryan’s side of the family was supportive of her choices and to Nicolette’s surprise, so was her own family. She even recalled her close friends telling her that they’ve known it from the beginning. But the biggest hurdle was coming out to her mom, as Nic sobbed on the phone while telling her it.
“She was like “I love you no matter what”. She was kind of taking the blame because she felt like she was the one who made me feel afraid to be accepted.”
Her TikTok account grew popular and she shared that she didn’t understand how a situation that seemed “normal” to them could be so interesting for others. She’s also found other women who relate to what she’s going through.
But she also gets the occasional hate comments from people who “can’t wrap their heads around it.” But all in all, it’s been mostly positive for the family as she was happy that she teaches people to see that co-parenting happily side-by-side is possible.
With over 16.5 million views, she now makes fun videos about her family and her unusual married life situation.