eurOut on “Verbotene Liebe,” Ireen Wüst and Shary-an Nivillac


This is the second installment of a monthly column about lesbian/bi visibility in European media by Editor-in-Chief Saskia Joreen.


In my last column I told you about the lesbian storyline of Miriam and Rebecca on German soap Verbotene Liebe (Forbidden Love). It’s a storyline that unfortunately didn’t last very long – at the beginning of this month the couple decided that they weren’t sure about their love and concluded they would be better off as friends. Though it’s a shame to see the cute couple part ways romantically, anything could happen in their future. In addition to Rebecca being Miriam’s second female love interest (the first one was never shown on the show, but talked about), neither of them reject the idea of finding true love with another woman:

Rebecca: Everybody thinks that I’m just experimenting and that I’m not sure.

Miriam: But you aren’t! You’re not sure and I’m not sure either. We like each other. But … if we’re being honest, that’s not enough. … Are you mad at me now?

Rebecca: “Mad” is the wrong word. Rather “disappointed.”

Miriam: I didn’t mean to …

Rebecca: Not by you! Disappointed by myself. You’re right, I wanted to find my true love and started to obsess about it. The more the others talked about it, the more I wanted it, and…

Miriam: Because you didn’t want to be alone. Just like me. But we’re not alone. We’re friends! We’ll just have to keep on searching to find love.

Rebecca: With men or with women?

Miriam: I don’t know. But I know that we’re awesome. We found each other, and we will find the right guy or girl.

Miriam and Rebecca with their gay friends Olli and Christian

You can read full recaps of the entire Miriam/Rebecca storyline on eurOut.


The first season of Dutch talent show The Voice of Holland saw 18-year-old Shary-an Nivillac make it as far as the quarter finals. During her first appearance on the show (where candidates are initially selected solely based on their vocal performances) Nivillac was able to convince one out of four jury members with her rendition of Alicia Keys’s Empire State Of Mind. This was enough to keep her on Dutch TV for several weeks until she was eliminated in the quarter finals.

The Voice of Holland wasn’t the singer’s first talent show – she already participated in one organized by her church when she was 13, and also tried out for another Dutch talent show last year. Though Nivillac definitely has a singing talent, what’s maybe even more striking about her is her enthusiastic and cheeky charisma that just radiates off the TV screen whenever the cameras are pointed at her. This has certainly been the reason why the show’s jury chose to look the other way whenever they heard some technical imperfections in her voice.

Nivillac currently attends the Pop Academy in Rotterdam and according to her Twitter profile she loves soul, R&B, jazz, blues and soft rock. The young singer Tweets quite often, and every once in a while you’ll spot a picture that she’s posted of herself with her sweetheart. Her sexuality is not something she ever explicitly mentioned or labeled on TV or in interviews, but when she was asked about her love life in a radio interview, she was quite open about her relationship:

She’s the cutest little thing. We met a while ago, through a mutual friend. We looked at each other and it was just — yes! What makes her so special is that she’s herself. We both do our own thing but we’re still there for each other. She’ll always speak her mind about everything and anything, and she always supports me.

The young singer remains modest and doesn’t seem too defeated by her departure from the talent show. “Honestly I never expected so many people to be interested in this 18-year-old girl.” The voice of Holland is an experience Nivillac will carry with her forever, and not just in a figurative way of speaking – Ben Saunders, the singer who won the show in the end, tattooed the sentence “Love me for who I am” on Nivillac’s arm. She explains: “I always do my own thing and the people around me accept that. If they don’t, I just don’t hang out with them.

Since being who she is got Shary-an Nivillac this far, it’ll probably be just a matter of time before we hear from her again. After taking some well-deserved time off, she’s already working on her music again and still hopes to release the single she recorded during her time on The Voice of Holland. Her official website can be found at

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