Why The 'Real Housewives' Franchise Needs An LGBTQ+ Housewife
Members of the LGBTQ+ community have long been supporting — and sometimes scene-stealing — characters on Bravo's Real Housewives franchises. So that, of course, begs the question: How is there not an LGBTQ+ Housewife yet? After all, many of the women, like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star and longtime LGBTQ+ ally Erika Jayne publicly campaigned for a gay couple to join the series.
"I would love a gay couple on the show," Jayne (real name Erika Girardi) told TooFab in March, adding:
"I'll go on the record to say the first person to put a gay married couple on the show would make me very happy ... However you serve it up, I think that the word [housewives] has evolved so much and has such a different meaning now, why not? Why not put the first gay couple on there? Quite honestly, that would change the dynamic and make it much more interesting and open up the audience to a much bigger place."
While she contends she doesn't know "if anybody's brave enough to do it," her BFF and creative director Mikey Minden, who is a constant fixture on the show, helping the Housewife-turned-pop-star serve up all her fierce looks, would be a natural choice.
"I have seen every city of Housewives ever," Minden told Bravo's The Daily Dish in 2016. "This was a dream come true, that my best friend and creative partner was going to be on my favorite show."
Of course it's no secret that some of the woman exhibit homophobia and transphobia, as thoroughly examined by Mic's Serena Daniari in December 2017. From attempts at outing some of the other women's husbands to fellow cast mates themselves (as has happened far too many times in the Atlanta franchise), some of the ladies have much to learn. And who better to provide a teachable moment than someone from the LGBTQ+ community?
Many of the woman, however, fully embrace their fans and, often times, close friends. Take, for instance, the self-proclaimed "straw that stirs the drink," Sonja Morgan from The Real Housewives of New York City, who, this season, gave viewers a sneak peek at the frequent fabulous "gay parties" she hosts for her longtime friends at her Upper East Side townhouse. "We can just say whatever we want to say and not be judged and be silly and very childlike," she recently said in a video interview with Bravo's The Daily Dish. "What happens at the townhouse, stays at the townhouse. When you're having a gay party, you really want to let your hair down."
Over in the Garden State,The Real Housewives of New Jersey alum Kathy Wakile's fun-loving sister Rosie Pierri, who identifies as a lesbian, warmed hearts with her onscreen search for love and even evoked ugly cries from fans during Season 6, while bravely discussing her coming out story with her niece and nephew. "I went through it all by myself," she told Wakile's children. "God made me this way. That's it." That's the kind of inspiration we want to see more of.
Back in 2011, Real Housewives of Miami star Marysol Patton first introduced us to her close pal, transgender model Lauren Foster, who became the first transgender woman to appear on the franchise regularly. Despite periodic cameos, though, she never got the chance to pen one of the full-time Housewives' iconic intro taglines. “With this new gender revolution, we all have an opportunity to change and let the world see us for who we really are, one step at a time," Foster (pictured below, right, with Patton) has said, according to The Huffington Post. "That is how we effect change. One step. One moment. One kindness at a time."
Fans may remember Logo's Real Housewives-esque 2010-2011 docu-series The A-List: New York, which followed "tangled friendships, rivalries and aspirations" of what the network described as "New York's gay elite plus their families, best girlfriends, and pocket dogs (natch) as they navigate being fabulous in the city." The two-season reality series even shared producers from The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
While an all-gay version was a step in the right direction, it's obvious that Bravolebrities and fans alike would love to see members of the LGBTQ+ community go from sidekicks to leading cast members — and Househusbands, perhaps.