The Bachelor's Taylor Nolan Says Public Outrage over Her Tweets Is 'So Valid': 'I Was So Lost'
In an exclusive interview, the former Bachelor in Paradise star opens up about her "problematic" tweets and struggling with her racial identity
Taylor Nolan made a painful mistake — and she says she's not expecting anyone's forgiveness anytime soon.
In an exclusive interview with host Janine Rubenstein airing Friday on the PEOPLE Every Day podcast, the former Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise star, 27, opens up about "problematic" offensive tweets of hers that recently resurfaced, calling the public outrage over her comments "so valid."
"It is so valid for people to feel like they can't trust me," she says. "It's so valid for people to feel shocked and betrayed."
Listen to full interview with Taylor Nolan on PEOPLE Every Day here:
The tweets, originally posted between 2011 and 2012 when Nolan was a teenager, began circulating on Reddit and Twitter earlier this month. In the posts, Nolan insulted minority groups such as Jews, Asian Americans and Indians. She also used several homophobic and fatphobic slurs. The backlash was swift, especially given how outspoken Nolan has been about diversity and racism in regards to the Bachelor franchise during Matt James' season.
Looking back at the time she wrote the harmful comments, Nolan says she was "lost" and struggling with her own racial identity.
"I was not in a good place at all," she says. "I was living in racial trauma. I was living and upholding white supremacy. I was completely lost with my cultural identity."
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Nolan, who is biracial, says she "grew up only in whiteness" and was raised "as if I was a white girl." During that time, she says she found herself using language and adopting ideas of those around her without thinking about the meaning behind the words she was using.
"I had really absorbed all of the 'isms' in our culture. I had absorbed all of that white supremacy and felt just lost. I didn't think about anything I was tweeting or I was posting," she says. "I was depressed, and I was just really lonely and didn't like myself. I didn't know who I was. I thought that I was being cool, thought that I was fitting in. I was so lost. I was so confused."
"Even the people of color who I was around were using the same types of language. A lot of the tweets, I was in conversation with friends, with my classmates," she continues. "It was reinforced in my entire upbringing. It was reinforced in my mainstream culture. And it was reinforced in my immediate environment with my peers."
Nolan says it wasn't until she entered a graduate program to become a licensed therapist that she began to "unpack" and "unlearn" her racial biases.
"That completely changed up my environment, that completely changed my peer group — moving away from the people who were upholding those beliefs and reinforcing that language," she says. "I gave myself some education to unpack and unlearn some of the things that I thought were normal."
"Going to my own therapy was super important in getting to know my own racial identity," she adds. "Surrounding myself in more groups of people of color was really important for me, and paying attention to the cultural shifts was huge."
And while Nolan stands by her growth and maintains that she no longer holds those harmful points of view, looking back, she acknowledges that she should have deleted her tweets (which she since has) — and hopes others will learn from her mistakes.
"I think naively I just thought, well, that's a part of my timeline. That's a part of my being, how I got here today," she says. "But that's not as important as reducing harm. I should have gone back and deleted them. And I hate the amount of pain and frustration and mistrust that it's created for people in me."
"I really just hoped that it would show the complexity. It would show the work," she continues. "That you can be in that place of perpetuating harmful stereotypes, of being uneducated, of being intolerant, to transforming, to putting in the work, to growing up, and to doing better."
Moving forward, Nolan says she hopes to continue her work in fighting for racial equality and being an advocate for mental health awareness.
"I will always have work to do. I will always have things to learn about," she says. "I don't hold every identity that there is. I don't know everything about what people experience. And it's important to just stay open to that."
"I do believe that people deserve a chance to learn. I do you believe people deserve chances to do better," she continues. "We are all human. We're all going to be ignorant in some capacity. And I think canceling people is not the way. Holding them through education, holding them with love of wanting them to do better, is really what we need to actually move forward."
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