Watch Nancy and Meredith's life together
Meredith later came out to friends and family, but not her fans. "I never really saw the need to make any kind of announcement because, like, what do you announce?" she says. "I'm dating somebody? I mean, who cares? It's not what defined me."
As she grew more open about her sexuality, Nancy says she knew Meredith's change was complete when she suggested they go on a lesbian cruise together. "I was like, 'Really? You want to do this?'" Nancy says. "I did say to her, 'People are going to see you and people are going to know that you are a lesbian woman. You can't hide on a lesbian cruise.'"
After learning a national tabloid was going to publish a story about about the vacation, Meredith realized it was time to go public. She told her story on the Today show before the story hit newsstands. "It was the only way to control the story and make it my own instead of some fiction that was going to be sleazy," Meredith says. "I didn't want that."
"You can't keep secrets too long, you know," Meredith says. "It's corrosive."