Niecy Nash-Betts makes moving Emmy speech

Niecy Nash-Betts Emmy win Emmy Speech

Niecy Nash-Betts, who won an Emmy Monday night for her role as Glenda Cleveland, the neighbor of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, in Netflix’s “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” Photo: Netflix

Niecy Nash-Betts, who won an Emmy Monday night for her role as Glenda Cleveland, the neighbor of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, in Netflix’s “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” thanked many people in her acceptance speech, including herself.

Nash-Betts won outstanding supporting actress in a limited or anthology series or movie.

“I’m a winner, baby,” she said from the stage. “Thank you to the Most High for this divine moment. Thank you to Ryan Murphy for seeing me. Evan Peters (who played Dahmer), I love you.

“Netflix, every single person who voted for me, thank you,” Nash-Betts said, before mentioning her wife, Jessica Betts. “And my better half, who picked me up when I was gutted from this work, thank you.

“And you know who I wanna thank?” she said. “Me. For believing in me and doing what they said I could not do. And I wanna say to myself in front of all you beautiful people, ‘Come on girl, with your bad self, you did that’.”

Nash-Betts then spoke “truth to power.”

“Finally, I accept this award on behalf of every Black and brown woman who has fallen unheard, yet over policed, like Glenda Cleveland, like Sandra Bland, like Breonna Taylor. As an artist, my job is to speak truth to power, and baby I’m gonna do it till the day I die. Momma, I won.”

Nash-Betts has been Emmy nominated three times.

She won a Daytime Emmy in 2010 for producing and starring in “Clean House.”

When Nash-Betts took to the stage last week as a presenter at The Golden Globes, she used the time to say it loud and say it proud.

She was nominated for her role in “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” and presented the award for best actress, musical/comedy series.

When she approached the microphone, Nash-Betts acknowledged the audience’s applause.

“I don’t know if you’re clapping because you like the dress, because I’m here, or because I’m gay now, but I’ll take it,” she said.

Nash-Betts previously had declined to label her sexuality or call her marriage a “coming out.

She married Betts, a musician, in August 2020. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, at the time, Nash-Betts said, “Mrs. Carol Denise Betts.” The actress’s legal name is Carol Denise. She had been married to Jay Tucker and Don Nash. 

When Nash-Betts went on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” in March 2021, she told Ellen that she didn’t want to label her sexuality. She married the person she loved, who happened to be a woman.

Nash-Betts had talked about not wanting to label her sexuality in October. On “The Tamron Hall Show,” she called herself “jess-sexual,” and said that the term came from a conversation with her daughter.

Nash-Betts’ daughter Dia had asked how she identified and showed her a video about different LGBTQ+ labels and identities.

“I was like, Girl, I’m more confused now than I was before this. I don’t know. If I have to coin it in the moment, I would say I’m jess-sexual,” she said.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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