Fortune Feimster Opens Up About Her Journey to Self-Discovery in New Netflix Special
Fortune Feimster is here for a good time.
In her first hour-long Netflix special, Sweet & Salty, the 39-year-old comedian and actress opens up about her journey to self-discovery — including the intimate details of her upbringing and how she came out as gay to her mom.
“This is my full hour and it was a really cool thing to put my story out there and let it breathe and find a theme and a way for it to tie in together,” Feimster exclusively told PEOPLE. “This is really the first time that I’ve done a stand-up set like this where it was autobiographical. Once I started to put this whole thing together, I found that the stories that were resonating with me and resonating with the audience were the stories about my childhood and about my personal experiences of figuring out who I was.”
“It took on a life of its own,” she added. “When I sat and looked at the bigger picture, this is a person trying to figure out who they are and has not always done it ‘right,’ but there’s never been any shame in it. I hope that a lot of people that watch can see themselves in that journey, even if the outcome is different.”
In the special, Feimster gets candid about the moment she told her mom she is gay. After Feimster took her to her favorite Chinese restaurant to break the news, her mom looked at her and said, “Let’s go, we’re going to Hooters and we’re telling them it’s your birthday!”
Despite the support she received, Feimster told PEOPLE she was nervous to have that conversation.
“Well, I think coming out is terrifying for everybody, even if you have the most supportive family ever,” the former Mindy Project star said. “There’s that part of you that thinks, ‘What if my mom or dad hate me now? What if they don’t want anything to do with me?’ You think you know your family until you present them with this knowledge of, ‘Hey, I’m not exactly who you might have thought I am. Here’s who I really am.’”
“There was a stigma for so many years about being gay, and so many people did lose that relationship with their family,” she added. “Even though it’s gotten better, it still happens. I was very fearful. It was a weird conversation to have. You’re essentially sitting your parents down and saying, ‘Hey here’s who I’m sexually attracted to.’ I don’t think straight people have to have that conversation.”
In January 2018, Feimster proposed to fiancée Jacquelyn Smith during a romantic trip to Big Sur, California.
“After two and a half years with my beautiful lady, she’s officially my feyoncé,” Feimster wrote along with photos of her and Smith, who showed off her diamond ring.
While the duo haven’t set a date yet, Feimster said she hopes to hire a wedding planner this year.
Sweet & Salty is out now on Netflix.