Becca Tilly on how “quickly” she “fell in love” with Hayley Kiyoko, does she identify as a lesbian

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I’m not holding back anymore! Having made public her romance with Hayley Kiyoko, Becca Tilly gradually shares the details of their relationship and why she was ready to open up.

“So I was ready for anything and everything, but I wasn’t ready for the amount of love and support we received,” the 33—year-old bachelor graduate began on Monday, May 23, in an episode of her “Cleansing with Becca Tilley & Tanya Rad podcast” getting emotional. “Hayley really made me feel brave, and she always said, ‘People love you and want to see you happy.’

Tilly confirmed her four-year relationship with 31-year-old Kiyoko on Friday, May 20, after the former ABC star starred in a cameo role in the musician’s music video “For the Girls”.

“I’ve always said: “I’ll go public—we can go public if I can be in one of your videos, like being the girl from the video.” And I’m not an actress, and she always hires actors, for example, legitimate actresses. And that’s why she always said, “Okay,”” Tilly recalls. “And I just thought: “I think I’m ready, like, I think it’s time.” For four years, you know, it was our relationship.”

Tilly noted that she never intended to keep her affair with Kiyoko a “secret”, she just wanted it to be “private” from social media.

“We were very much ourselves. We held hands in public. We kiss. If I met someone… I imagine her [as] my girlfriend Hayley. I never said: “This is my friend or my best friend,” she explained. “I really made an effort to make sure that there is this distinction between private and secret.”

Tilly, who appeared in the respective seasons of Chris Soules and Ben Higgins’ “The Bachelor,” thanked everyone who made efforts to protect her privacy, including Bachelor Nation.

“I knew that I had a large group of people who support me, and who would support me, love me and encourage me and us in our relationship, and people who protect our relationship from day one,” she said. “And even people, like, she went to Ben’s wedding with me and, like, I introduced her to so many people from the bachelor world, and just people from different parts of my life. And everyone was so warm and kind to her that I knew that even people with whom I am not very close, they would still support her.”

After attending Higgins’ wedding in November 2021, Tilly brought Kiyoko as her girlfriend to the wedding of Jojo Fletcher and Jordan Rogers earlier this month.

“Haley came to Jojo’s wedding, and a lot of these guys were like Southerners. … We live in such a bubble in Los Angeles, and you expect everyone to have relationships or friendships with people in same-sex relationships,” she said. “But not everyone is like that. And that’s why it was great to see how everyone, especially people who know me from my Bachelor’s degree and, like, didn’t know about my relationship status — or cared — were so friendly and warm, and supported right away. And all my four years of dating Hayley were like, “Hi, this is my girlfriend, Hayley.” And then, about five minutes later, the person is like, “So are you dating someone?” I like, ‘Yeah, girlfriend. This is my girlfriend in a romantic way.” I’ve had to do this throughout my entire relationship because I’ve never resented it. I just think it’s funny because, you know, I try to be like ‘My Girlfriend’.”

Scroll down to learn more from Tilly:

About why Becca doesn’t identify as a lesbian

“In anticipation of this moment, I thought, “Oh, damn it, I’ll have to deal with, for example, my sexuality, my label. I’ve never been involved with this. And I think my story is different from other people’s stories,” Tilly said, noting that her sisters “have never experienced such attraction to men” and are “very confident” in who they are. “It’s not something I’ve personally spent my whole life doing. When I look back, for example, I loved Kate Winslet and Leonardo [DiCaprio] in Titanic, and I loved Joey and Pacey in Dawson’s Cove, you know? …When I met Hayley, it was the first time I had this specifically for a woman.”

About their first kiss

Tilly remembered that she was the one who made a move on Kiyoko a few days after they met at her album release party. “The night we met, she asked: “Does Becca like girls?” And [our friend] said, “No, but her sister does.” We really insisted on setting her up with my sister,” she said, noting that she wasn’t worried about being “rejected” because she knew the singer was interested in her. “We were drinking. It’s, like, 2 a.m. And we went back to [our friend’s] house, and everyone was kind of going down the stairs. And I actually, I pulled her back, and I kissed her. And she still says: “I would never take the first step, they say, there is simply no way.”

About falling in love with Hayley

Tilly explained that Kiyoko went on tour a week after they met.

“The first year we were actually at a distance,” she said, noting that they “fell in love with each other so quickly.”