Heather Gay's friends may describe her as the "life of the party," but for her, it's just the role she has to play. "I consider myself an introverted extrovert that acts like the life of the party so everyone else feels more comfortable," the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star tells Bustle, adding that she "kisses a lot of ass."
That's something you'll see her work on throughout the first season of RHOSLC, which premieres Nov. 11 on Bravo. "I really go along to get along until I kind of just get sick of it toward the end," Gay explains of what's to come, pointing to "some friction" with her costar and sometimes "sh*tty friend" Jen Shah, as well as the ongoing drama that "will never die" with her former BYU classmate Lisa Barlow. "Usually I would just put up with it because that's what I've always been trained to do. But I'm finally starting to say what I really want to say and how I really feel."
Get to know more about Heather below.
Heather's Dating Life
Heather is "totally single" after going through a difficult divorce with her husband of 11 years in 2015, though she says they now "get along fine." Her ex's grandfather was Howard Hughes' driver and inherited a large portion of the businessman's estate, which makes the Gays "Mormon royalty" who are "worth billions," Heather says. So it comes as little surprise that she's "always had an affinity for" RHONY's Sonja Morgan and relates to her divorce.
RHOSLC will show Heather navigating the dating world once again, and she has a clear idea of what she wants in her next relationship. "I'm looking for anyone who's completely inappropriate and damaged and under the age of 30," she jokes. "I look for love from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed. I just never find it."
Heather and her teen daughters — Ashley, 17, Georgia, 14, and Annabelle, 13 — are like "the four musketeers," she says. "They're 100% supportive and kind of caretake me as much as I'm their mom." With full custody, Heather is raising her kids on her own, while her ex "completely" financially supports them. "Our co-parenting is: I do the work and he pays the bills," she explains.
Don't expect to see much more of Heather's family on the show, though. She says her parents and siblings are "cool, wonderful people" who love and support her, but view her becoming a Housewife as a "betrayal of their faith." "They see endorsing this type of adventure as kind of patting me on the back, saying 'good luck on your way to hell,'" she says.
Though Heather was raised as a Mormon, she now describes herself as "Mormon-ish." She had a reawakening of sorts after her divorce and decided to stop attending church (which violates the compulsory attendance policy). "I've gotten to the point where I can't endorse doctrine that is completely opposite of how I feel, and I can no longer rationalize it " she explains, citing the Mormon church's stance on gay marriage and not allowing Black members to become priests. "How can I participate in a church that is absolutely discriminatory and says God loves all people, except for the gays? The doctrine is essentially that you can't go to heaven unless you're married, straight, and very, very righteous."
Still, Heather says she loves her community and believes it will always be a part of her identity.
After initially "doing photography and social media in exchange for Botox" because her ex-husband oversaw her budget, Heather began running the cosmetic medical practice Beauty Lab + Laser, which is now valued at over $20 million. She used money from her divorce settlement to join the company as a partner before totally buying out the business, which offers injectables, laser treatments, and skincare, among other services. Their goal is to allow women to invest in themselves without shame or stigma. "If you want giant lips, if you want a frozen face, if you want to be smooth like a dolphin without one shred of hair, we don't have any agenda other than to provide customer service," Heather explains.
Heather mostly posts about her friends and family on Instagram, though she says she's attracted her fair share of trolls. "The trolling is real, but it is nothing in comparison to the love and support," she says. "And it's very easy to ignore the trolls when you have such an amazing Housewife fan base, so I try to just focus on that."
She also uses social media to talk about social justice movements like Black Lives Matter. Pointing to the percentage of white women who voted for Trump in 2020, Heather believes it's more important than ever to use her position of privilege to stand up rather than look the other way — especially in Utah, which "doesn't have a super diverse" population.
She's a #FreeBritney supporter
Heather loves Britney Spears and considers her a national treasure. "I think her Instagram posts are simultaneously horrifying and endearing, and I think that is the type of human being that we need to cradle and treasure and empower because she's provided us with decades of entertainment. For her to now have a conservatorship is absurd. No one's beyond redemption and no one should be manhandled like that and micromanaged. I think if we let Britney free, we'll see what she can really do."