Mardi Gras host Narelda Jacobs reveals heartfelt coming out

narelda jacobs

Studio 10 presenter, Narelda Jacobs has revealed what it was like coming out to her “devastated” religious family. 

Jacobs said she made the revelation in 1998 — the same year she attended her first Mardi Gras.

Now this year, the Perth journalist will be hosting the celebrations. She’s come a long way.

Jacobs said initially her religious beliefs made accepting her sexuality difficult. Especially since her father was a reverend of the Uniting Church.

“The revelation broke my mother’s heart,” Jacobs told 10 Daily.

“My dad was a reverend of the Uniting Church and I attended born-again churches until my late teens.

“I was told homosexuals would go to hell for their sin.

“I was told AIDS was sent by God to punish gays and that as a Christian I had a duty to save them from eternal condemnation.

Jacobs is a proud lesbian

Jacobs said, however, that despite her teachings she couldn’t hide who she was forever.

She said it was the birth of her child and a marriage breakdown that allowed her to accept she was a lesbian.

“I had convinced myself I was straight — but I couldn’t pretend forever,” Jacobs said.

“After a wedding…a baby… and marriage separation…I started to explore who I really was,

“Thanks to open-minded friends, I finally saw the light and the LGBTIQA+ community was waiting with open arms,” she said.

Jacobs also said her family has come to accept her sexuality and they love her no matter what.

She said although her being a lesbian was difficult for her loved ones, their love outweighed their grief.

“My family’s love overpowered their shock, tears and grief,” she said.

“Other than being shunned, my sexuality was tolerated. More than two decades later I enjoy a close relationship with…my family. Mum still prays for me, but she knows never to tell me who I can love.

WA’s first openly lesbian news reporter

Narelda Jacobs joined the Studio 10 panel at the beginning of this year making her the first openly lesbian news reporter in Western Australia.

She is also a Whadjuk Noongar woman and became the first Indigenous new anchor for a commercial network in 2007.

This week she has travelled to Sydney for Mardi Gras where she will host the celebrations alongside Joel Creasey, Zoe Coombs and Courtney Act.

If you’re in Brisbane and can’t make it to Mardi Gras this weekend, head on down to the Sportsman Hotel.

The Spring Hill venue is throwing their annual Mardi Gras party on Saturday, February 29, with free entry all night.

They will even be live-streaming the parade on the Sporties big screen.

For more details, visit the Sportman Hotel’s Facebook event.

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