A woman who came out as gay six years into her marriage to a man has revealed they are still married as he remains her ‘soulmate’.
Nicolette Popa, 26, came out to husband Ryan in the summer of 2020, but instead of finding themselves caught up in a hostile split, the two decided to stay living together while co-parenting their two children.
Civil servant Ryan, 27, admitted he ‘wasn’t surprised’ by the revelation, with Nicolette explaining that they are still best friends and one another’s ‘biggest supporters’.
Nicolette, from Wilmington, North Carolina, said: "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.
"We're prioritising family life over the dating side of things."
She continued: "We got married when I was 19 and he was 20. We've been together basically through all of our 20s, and he's that person I've been around constantly.
"I feel like he'll always be my soulmate, just from a different perspective.
"We know how to get under each other's skin, but we also know how to be each other's biggest supporters."
Nicolette knew she was a lesbian while growing up, but was always scared of coming out as she was raised in a conservative area of Missouri.
She said: "My family are definitely conservative, we're from the midwest so it's very 'country' out there.
"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.”
Recalling their conversation when she told Ryan, Nicolette said: "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, 'OK 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."
After coming out to Ryan, Nicolette started telling close friends, but only told her immediate family last June.
Ryan has been supportive of Nicolette from the outset, even claiming he saw signs that she was gay before she told him – adding that his own family is also really ‘supportive’.
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.
"She really emphasised being a tomboy, the way she was dressing, she was embracing it more."
Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News
Topics: Sex and Relationships