Reality TV shows generally clog up television airwaves with loads of fabricated drama, outrageous storylines and disturbing love triangles. However, every once in a while, out of the rubble of these sensationalized plots, shines through something that reminds us that there are, in fact, very real aspects of reality television. In the case of TV One’s “R&B Divas: Atlanta,” it happens to be the love shared between Monifah Carter and now-wife, Terez. We were recently able to catch up with the newly married reality star following one of her morning workouts and she gave us the details on her Hawaiian wedding ceremony, her fabulous wedding dress and baby plans.
MN: First, I just want to start by saying congratulations! We were very happy to hear about the wonderful news!
Monifah: Thank you! Yes, it was a very exciting day. It’s a really great time for me in my life right now. I’m really blessed.
MN: I realize that you and your daughter haven’t always seen eye to eye when it comes to your relationship and sexuality. Did she participate at all in your wedding ceremony?
Monifah: No, she didn’t. She did not share in the moment. That was her truth and I respected it.
MN: With that in mind, what advice would you offer to those with family members who don’t support their relationship?
Monifah: You have to live your life for you. You demand respect in that area of your life because that is your life to live. I think acceptance of people’s decisions and beliefs and choices in those things is very key. You cannot change people. You have to keep it on you and do your best to be the example of what you’d like to see—in them or in the world period. That’s really how I’ve been living my life. It helps me make much better decisions because you know, you can’t change people. You’ll be disappointed the minute you try. That’s not even our place. I’ve learned that acceptance is key in most of those situations. You have to protect yourself and your spirit and you have to make tough decisions. It’s not always easy.
MN: Would you consider yourself gay or bisexual?
Monifah: I consider myself bisexual. Because we’re human, we have to put labels on everything. I’m a human being capable of loving anyone. In loving, it’s in the physical sense as well. I’m attracted to both men and women. I am in a monogamous, loving relationship with a woman. I’ve been in very good relationships with men. It just didn’t make it to where I made it with my wife. So yes, I would consider myself bisexual for the ‘labelers.’ Yes.
MN: Have you and Terez considered having or adopting children?
Monifah: Absolutely! I was thinking about the IVF thing. I would love to carry again. Terez has no interest in actually carrying. She doesn’t really have that interest—never did. I would love to carry our child. And I’m thinking, ‘Do I want to start all over?’ So we’re kind of weighing it out. We know that there are a lot of children out there that need love and loving homes, guidance and someone to take of them. You know, whatever God sees fit to have happen in our lives. If he wants us to
MN: Celebrities are often on the fence when it comes to allowing reality TV cameras into their wedding ceremonies. At what point did you decide to allow TV One cameras in and how did you come to that conclusion?
Monifah: Terez and I came to that conclusion because we felt that it was something that should be shared in this day and age. It was the fact that we got engaged, you know, we shared that with the world. I feel that it was a positive, real, normal representation of other same-sex couples that we know, on TV and to the masses. We both felt that it wasn’t just about us and we should share this monumental moment in history. It’s the first time that this has been done and you know, share it with the world. It’s important with the climate of civil rights in this country and in the world. It was bigger than us, so we decided to share it and be very matter-of-fact, be very specific and have hard lines about what we would and would not do and wouldn’t accept or have to interrupt our special day. It still had to be our special day. You know, not made for TV.
The cameras were just there. I talked to ThinkFactory Media and TV One about respecting that and understanding that and being sensitive to that.
MN: Did you feel that having the cameras around put extra pressure on you and Terez?
Monifah: Well, no. I can only speak for myself, but we’re used to it at this point. I had to remember, of course, to be extra in my Zen. It can add extra pressure, but I had already decided that I wasn’t going to be one of those frazzled, crazy monster brides. That defeats the purpose of the day and getting married and celebrating your union, you know? The bottom line is that we were both there. That’s all that really mattered, you know, and our officiator. I made that decision right before the big day.
Courtesy of TV One
MN: So, we saw that your co-star KeKe Wyatt was present at the ceremony. Does this mean that you two are on good terms now?
“You know, we started off rough when we all got back together. We started off rough, but we were actually fine a couple of days after that. I don’t let things linger. If I think something is wrong, I speak on it. I have to communicate. I’m a communicator and I’m getting better at it. I never want to let anything like that linger. I care about her and I know her back story and she knows mine. She knows me. That’s my dawg. I’m not going to keep any ill feelings. That’s not my nature. I’m glad she did show up because she sang her tail off. She sang my favorite song, ‘Lie Under You.’ I’m really excited for people to see that episode.
MN: We immediately fell in love after seeing your wedding dress. I hear that you designed it yourself.
Monifah: Yeah, it was hybrid of three different dresses that I found and then I added some touches like in the bodice area with the high points on each of the cups. I had an incredible designer that helped bring it to life. Her name is Gizzelle James and she’s out of Atlanta.
MN: It’s absolutely beautiful! What made you decide to select black for your dress color? It’s obviously not a very traditional wedding color, but it really worked!
Monifah: Thank you! First of all, I’m not traditional. And how dare me—first of all, let me just give you this real quick. I have no business wearing white [laughs]! First, because I do have a 22-year-old daughter. Secondly, there’s nothing virtuous about me, okay! You know, traditionally, brides wear white because it represented their virtue, their virginity. Stark white is not that appealing to me, I like off-white. But then I was like, ‘black is my favorite color!’ It looks amazing. The style that I wanted read better in black. So I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to do black!’ I didn’t want to do a color. So I just said, ‘Yeah, that’s it.’ I said, ‘Bae, what you think about black?’ She [Terez] said, ‘I love it.’ That’s her favorite color, so she was like ‘Amen.’ And she didn’t have on a dress. Everybody thinks she had on a dress, but it was a jumpsuit.