Tag: Jessica

Danika reviews Follow Your Arrow by Jessica Verdi – The Lesbrary

Danika reviews Follow Your Arrow by Jessica Verdi – The

Follow Your Arrow by Jessica VerdiAmazon Affiliate Link | Bookshop.org Affiliate Link

CeCe and her girlfriend, Silvie, are social media stars. They have about a million followers each, and they are #RelationshipGoals. Their ship name is Cevie, and their lives online and off are intertwined. CeCe’s picture-perfect crafted persona begins to fall apart, though, when bickering with her girlfriend turns into fighting–none of which is reflected on the app, of course–which turns into a break up. CeCe isn’t sure what her brand is now that she’s single. To complicate things further, CeCe is bisexual–she’s been out for years–and she’s starting to get a crush on a very offline guy. How will he react to her online life, and how will her Cevie fans react to him?

This is the second of two bi YA books I read that come out today! (Also check out my review of I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre.) I have to take this space to do a little celebration of that fact! I remember when hardly any queer YA got published in a year, never mind two traditionally published bisexual YA books in the same day. Because this is the Lesbrary, I want to make clear that this features a M/F romance with a bi woman main character.

Follow Your Arrow is a coming-of-age-on-the-internet story. CeCe is immersed with “the App,” and her sense of self is wrapped up in it. She was once an outspoken activist–her walls are covered in protest signs she carried in marches–but she has sanitized this aspect of herself online. She used to get into screaming arguments with her Conservative father, until he left them. Now, she tries to make sure that nothing she does online could result in a pile-on. When her online fanbase begins to turn on her anyways, she has to re-evaluate. I appreciate that there’s some nuance here: it’s not a scare tactic about social media or “cancel culture:” the story acknowledges positives and negatives of both.

Like I Think I Love You, I really liked how this examined bisexuality as a distinct identity: not just gay light or… spicy straight. CeCe feels like she’s not considered queer enough to have pride or have it be an important part of her identity: she has talked herself out of getting a rainbow tattoo, because she doesn’t feel that she can “claim” this, or that people would object because she’s not “queer enough.” I also appreciated that she’s primarily attracted to women. Bisexuality with a preference isn’t something I’ve seen represented in YA before, but it’s very common in real life.

This turned out to be a bit of a personal read, but to explain that, I have to wander into potential spoiler territory–but not more than what’s on the back of the book. CeCe is worried that, despite being out as bi, she will receive backlash online if she dates a guy. To be clear: I have in no way at any time been famous on the internet. But I have been famous on one tiny part of the internet, which is the lesbian books part of it–at least 5 years ago. And when I started dating a guy after IDing as a lesbian for years online, I went through a miniature version of this on tumblr. Seeing people talk about your dating life and identity online, especially in a vindictive way, is very weird and definitely gets in your head (especially if you’re already going through an identity crisis). I cannot imagine being a truly public figure, because I sure couldn’t help myself from looking at that train wreck constantly until people lost interest.

I also appreciated that the story validates CeCe’s decision to set boundaries around her relationship with her father. I was worried that the trajectory was towards CeCe making amends even though her father was hateful, both politically and personally. (Mild spoiler:) Luckily, I was wrong about that. The narrative showed that she was right to separate herself, and that it is the healthiest thing for her.

I do want to give a content warning for biphobia: Follow Your Arrow includes hateful biphobic comments that I found difficult to read, but the narrative obviously contradicts them. If you’re looking for a coming of age story that considers bisexuality as an identity and the pitfalls of growing up online, I highly recommend this one!

Niecy Nash says marrying Jessica Betts was a ‘going into’ herself

Niecy Nash queer wedding

Niecy Nash has opened up about her sexuality after her surprise wedding to Jessica Betts, describing her love for a woman as a “going into myself” rather than a “coming out”.

The Claws star surprised fans in August when she announced her marriage to Betts on Instagram. The actor had never come out publicly and had twice been married to men in the past.

In a new interview with PEOPLE, the star said her relationship has “nothing to do with gender” and is about her wife’s soul.

“She is the most beautiful soul I have ever met in my life,” Nash said.

“I was not suppressing my sexuality my whole life. I love who I love. At one point in my life, I married twice and I love those people. And today I love this person.

“I’ve done everything I wanted to do on my own terms and my own way. So my choice now in a partner has nothing to do with who I’ve always been. It’s a matter of who I am in this moment.”

Niecy Nash says marrying Jessica Betts came from ‘being honest about whoI love’.

She continued: “I don’t feel like my marriage is my coming out of anywhere, but rather a going into myself and being honest about who I love. And I’m not limiting myself on what that love is supposed to look like.”

Nash and Betts first struck up a friendship through social media in 2015, when the actor was still married to her now-ex.

She said she “never saw” Betts as someone she would date until she and her husband separated in October 2019.

Following the break-up, Nash and Betts started to see each other in a new light.

“Sometimes you get so broken by love, you run from it,” Nash said. “But I’ve learned that you should always hold space for magic because ti can happen at any time.”

I don’t feel like my marriage is my coming out of anywhere, but rather a going into myself and being honest about who I love.

Niecy Nash also reflected on the powerful moment she and Betts proposed to each other on the same night.

“You know how you have those days where your significant other can just do things that drive you crazy? I feel like I was driving [Jessica] crazy all day,” she said.

“So it didn’t make sense to me that she turned around at the end of the night, and we were sitting in the jacuzzi, and I got up and I went upstairs and she came up and she was like, ‘You know what? You’ve been getting on my nerves all day. but if anybody is going to get on my nerves, I want it to be you’.

“Then she said, ‘You are absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to me’ before she popped the question.”

Later that night, Nash proposed to Betts after deciding that they were “non-traditional people” and didn’t need to follow old-fashioned rules around marriage.

Nash shared the news of her wedding on Instagram on August 31.

“Mrs Carol Denise Betts,” she captioned the post, using her full legal name, along with an emoji of an engagement ring and the hashtag #LoveWins.

 

Celebrity LGBTQ+ wedding alert! Niecy Nash marries Jessica Betts

Celebrity LGBTQ+ wedding alert! Niecy Nash marries Jessica Betts

Celebrity LGBTQ+ wedding alert! Niecy Nash marries Jessica Betts – Equally Wed, modern LGBTQ+ weddings + LGBTQ-inclusive wedding pros