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During Season 12 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Noelle Robinson had perhaps her most personal moment among any of her RHOA appearances in the last decade when she told her mom, Cynthia Bailey, that she identifies as sexually fluid.
"When I filmed it, I really didn’t think that much of it at the time. I was like, 'This is what it is, this is my life, I’m just gonna go ahead and film it and just move on.' My overthinking self, by the time the whole thing came around, I definitely, like a month before the episode, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, this is about to be public.' I’m fully comfortable in my sexuality. It’s just I’ve always been kind of weary and skeptical of just being too much in the public," she shared with The Daily Dish in an interview released exclusively to Bravo Insider members about the moment that aired last November, the same weekend Noelle turned 20 with her mom, dad Leon, and future stepdad Mike Hill by her side.
Noelle continued: "Because as much as I hate to admit it, I am still really sensitive. And I know that there are a lot of people that really just don’t support the LGBTQ community. And I was definitely very hesitant of any people that feel that way kind of coming to my page with any hate. And I’m working on not being so sensitive, because it would greatly benefit me in the career path that I want to go into [show business]. So, I was definitely nervous. And right before the episode, even that weekend, I was super nervous. Super, duper nervous. Then when it actually came out... the amount of support that I got was completely unreal. I couldn’t believe how many people were sending their support."
Noelle believes that the love she felt after the episode aired has a lot to do with the fact that RHOA viewers have literally watched her grow up from a little kid at the age of 9 to now being age 20.
"I definitely feel that the response I got was definitely just because people really feel like they’ve watched the entire thing. I feel like the show, the Atlanta Housewives, have really done a great job of just kind of highlighting me in every season. So you really do feel like you get to see me in every season, in whatever stage I’m at in my life now," she said. "I feel like people really think that they — I’m like their TV daughter. Or their TV sister, or something."
"[People] were very invested in whatever I had going on. Which I’m, I’m super grateful for. So, it just ended up being a thing where people really supported me in just being myself. It was just unreal. It was just absolutely the best thing I’ve ever done," she said.
The same love was also expressed to Noelle by the women who make up The Real Housewives of Atlanta with mom Cynthia: "All of them have expressed their support on and off social media to me. Especially Eva [Marcille] and Kenya [Moore], which I appreciate so much."
And to this day, she has no regrets: "It was so positive and it’s really one of the best decisions I’ve ever made."
In June 2019, months before the episode aired, Noelle attended her first Pride parade during World Pride in NYC. She also stepped out onto the Bravo float with her mom and a bevy of Bravolebrities. It was a celebration of her mom's support for her — and a life-changing experience.
"So going to my first Pride last year in New York was one of the most empowering and overall best experiences of my life. Just starting with the fact that one, my mom was right there by my side, supporting me the entire time. She’s always supported me. But just supporting me in such an expressive and special way meant the absolute world to me," Noelle said (The Daily Dish also spoke to her at the time, which you can check out in the video below).
Noelle continued: "And another reason it was special for me is because a lot of the times I feel like I’m the only member of the LGBTQ community or I’m just one of few in my surroundings or environments. So, getting the opportunity to embrace and celebrate my sexuality with the rest of my community felt amazing. And it was just definitely overall an unforgettable experience. And I look forward to attending as many Prides as I can in the future. And going to the Pride last year and feeling not only accepted — but celebrated — really set the tone this past year."
A year after that Pride appearance, Noelle feels empowered to be open with the world about all aspects of her life, which includes going public with her girlfriend, Alexis Powell, back in March. Noelle shared that she and Alexis have been in each other's lives since August 2018.
"Just in regards to my personal life: I used to be a very private person and since then it’s really given me the extra boost of confidence I never knew I needed to really open up and show the public more of who I really am," Noelle shared. "I’ve been way more transparent on my dating life, even posting it on social media which I’ve never done before until recently. I’ve also started a YouTube channel where I show a lot more of my personality in everyday life that people wouldn’t usually see, which I’ve gotten a really good response with. And, I mean, just all in all, it feels really good to know that people are gravitating towards me just being myself and showing who I really am more publicly."
This Pride month, Noelle has a message for anyone in the LGBTQ+ community who might be struggling to come out to those around them.
"I would definitely say that it is really life-changing and 100 percent worth it, and if you’re in a position where it’s safe for you to do so," Noelle said. "It’s just such a weight off your shoulders to know that you could just do whatever you want to do and just show your love and express your love and be able to post it and have other people that are commenting and that love it and support it... The feeling of being able to just be free with who you love and who’s making you happy is just the most beautiful thing. "
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