The Bravo star's 20-year-old daughter came out on Sunday's episode of the Real Housewives of Atlanta
Following Sunday’s episode of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, when the 20-year-old spoke her truth in an emotional conversation with her mother, Bailey is opening up about how she supports her daughter.
“I’ve always tried to be the kind of parent to Noelle to make her feel like she can tell me anything,” Bailey, who shares Noelle with actor Leon Robinson, said on Thursday’s episode of PeopleTV’s Reality Check. “I didn’t talk about sex [with] my mom, let alone my sexuality or anything like that. So I really wanted to make sure that she felt comfortable talking to me about it. And she did, as you saw.”
The Bravo star said that after realizing her daughter wasn’t just going through a “phase” in college, she understood Noelle’s “truth is her truth and wanted her to tell her own story.” Bailey, 52, added that she thought it was “great” that Noelle was able to share her story on RHOA because it made sure that no one else was able to “tell it for her.”
“You know, in the times we live in, people have their camera phones and I would hate for someone to video her with one of her little friends and then put it out there,” she said. “Because what happens when you’re on a reality show is if it’s out there before you put it out there, it’s like a secret that we’ve had, that we were trying to hide something.”
Bailey — who also shared her sentiments of support during Sunday’s episode — explained that her “only goal with Noelle is to protect her and support her.”
“As soon as I knew this was a life choice and this is who she was, I was like, ‘You tell your own story, that way you don’t have to worry about anyone else telling it for you,'” she said.
According to Bailey, her daughter was “a little nervous” watching the episode.
“She didn’t know how she was going to be received,” she said. “I mean, first of all, she didn’t know that it was going to go viral. She probably got like, 15,000 followers that night.”
“And I don’t even want to talk about her DMs!” she joked. “Let’s just say her community has received her, and they support her.”
On Thursday, Noelle shared a heartfelt post on Instagram expressing her gratitude for the public’s support.
“I am completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support that I have received since sharing my story on The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” she began. “I feel so blessed to have family and friends that have allowed me to be myself, and have encouraged me to share my truth with the world. Thank you to those who have given me the space to be who I am, and still love me regardless.”
“If only one person was inspired to live in their truth because of me opening up about mine, it was all worth it,” she continued. “I’m amazed how many people resonated with my same feelings, and are in a similar situation. My heart is so full and your love & positivity has washed over me.”
On Sunday’s episode, Noelle said she began exploring her sexuality during her freshman year at Howard University.
“It really just came out of nowhere,” she said. “I wasn’t really expecting that to happen.”
She told her mother that “people try to box everyone in and put labels on everything, but I don’t really do that,” explaining, “I just like who I like, and that’s just what it is. There’s a lot of attractive guys, and there’s a lot of attractive girls.”
The fact that Noelle was dating men and women threw Bailey for a loop — not because she had a problem with her daughter’s fluidity, but because she didn’t expect her to be dating at all. Still, she said she supported her daughter no matter what.
“We all love and support Noelle. It’s just new for us,” Bailey said. “We’re just trying to get used to it.”
Making sure Noelle felt supported was important to Bailey, especially since her daughter admitted to not fully understanding what her feelings all meant.
“I just want you to be happy, Noelle,” Bailey said. “If you meet an amazing young lady, that’s a blessing. If you meet an amazing young man, that’s a blessing. As long as they’re good people and they love and support you.”
“It makes me excited that Noelle has a safe space to share,” she added viewers. “Love is love.”
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo.