Some of them have been together for years and others are just beginning their relationships. Some have worked together to advocate for LGBT rights and change peoples perceptions of lesbians and others have quietly tried to simply live their lives together in peace. Some are real life power couples and others are fictional characters whose love stories have brought joy to viewers everywhere. All of them are positive examples of lesbian love and collectively they make up our list of 10 Favorite Lesbian Couples.
10. Cynthia Nixon and Christine Marinoni
In February of 2005, on a day when apparently nothing else had happened in the world, the New York Post broke the story that Sex in the City star Cynthia Nixon was a lesbian. It was surprising, mostly because it made the front page, but also because Nixon had been married to a man with whom she had two children and Miranda (her character on SITC) was really into men – a lot of men. But once the initial confusion of it all passed and we learned of Nixon’s relationship with education activist Christine Marinoni, it all became pretty normal. Nixon handled her outing by the Post perfectly… in not giving it much attention and simply focusing on her family and relationship – which is still going strong after four years.
9. Corky and Violet from Bound
An all-time favorite movie among many lesbians, Bound told the story of a woman named Violet (Jennifer Tilly) who longed to escape her relationship with her mafioso boyfriend. When she met alluring ex-con Corky (Gina Gershon), who was hired to renovate the next-door apartment, the two women began a sexy affair and hatched a scheme to steal $2 million of Mafia money. They were a great couple – both in their love scenes and their ability to outsmart everyone who tried to stop them from walking off into the sunset with the money.
8. Melissa Etheridge and Tammy Lynn Michaels
Melissa Etheridge, despite having huge successes in her musical career, certainly hasn’t had an easy time of it when it comes to love. After coming out as a lesbian in January of 1993 and advocating for gay rights ever since, Etheridge had a long-term realtionship with Julie Cypher, which made headlines during Cypher’s pregnancy’s and births to two children, fathered by sperm donor David Crosby. However, in 2000 Cypher began to reconsider her sexuality and on September 19, 2000, Etheridge and Cypher announced they were separating. Three years later though, Etheridge seemed to finally find her true love when she married actress Tammy Lynn Michaels. Michaels supported Etheridge throughout her battle with breast cancer and in 2006 gave birth to twins via an anonymous sperm donor.
7. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas
Gertrude Stein was an American writer who spent most of her life in France, and who became a catalyst in the development of modern art and literature. She was also friends with Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway and is considered to be one of the greatest minds of her generation. Alice B. Toklas was Stein’s confidante, cook, secretary, muse, editor, critic, general organizer, and long-time lover who remained a background figure living in the shadow of Stein until Stein published her memoirs in 1933 under the teasing title, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. The two were a couple until Gertrude Stein’s death in 1946 and together represented one of the first famous lesbian couples of all time.
6. Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson
As perhaps the most highly publicized couple on our list, Lindsay and Samantha have been ignoring the rumors and constant gossip surrounding their relationship and proving to also be one of the happiest and strongest couples out there as well.
5. Rosie O’Donnell and Kelli Carpenter-O’Donnell
Rosie and Kelli were introduced by Rosie’s brother Daniel in 1997 – years before the famous actress and talk show host came out as a lesbian. On February 26, 2004, the two entered into a union in San Francisco, two weeks after the mayor authorized the granting of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Despite the fact that their marriage license was later voided by the California Supreme Court, the couple has continued to advocate for LGBT rights and issues. Rosie and Kelli are also parents to adopted children Parker Jaren, Chelsea Belle, Blake Christopher, and Vivienne Rose – who was born to Kelli and Rosie through sperm donation. In addition to being wonderful and positive examples of gay parenting, Rosie and Kelli also currently operate R Family Vacations, a travel company geared towards gay and lesbian families.
4. Spencer and Ashley from South of Nowhere
When we first heard that the teen network The N was going to feature a show about gay teens we found it hard to believe, and worried that the representation wouldn’t be accurate or believable. When the show premiered however, we were pleasantly surprised to see Spencer (Gabrielle Christian) and Ashley (Mandy Musgrave) as cool, funny, smart, normal, beautiful girls who honestly and adorably dealt with their mutual feelings for one another.
3. Bette and Tina from The L Word
In the show that changed the way lesbians were portrayed on television, and possibly in real life as well, the relationship between main characters Bette (Jennifer Beals) and Tina (Laurel Holloman) has been the most interesting, most exciting, most serious, and most talked about of the show. From the very first episode the couple’s deep connection and love for one another was engaging and inspiring and, even though they have had their ups and downs, fans have continued to pull for them along the way.
2. Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon
Although they have been in the news most recently due to the death of Martin on August 27th, this couple has been changing the lives of LGBT individuals for decades. The two met in 1950, became lovers in 1952, and moved in together on Valentines Day 1953 in an apartment in San Francisco. They had been together for three years when they founded the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) in San Francisco in 1955, which became the first social and political organization for lesbians in the United States. They were married on June 16, 2008 and honored to be the first same-sex wedding to take place in San Francisco after the California Supreme Court’s decision legalized same-sex marriage in California.
1. Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi
One is the world’s most loved comedian and talk show host. The other is a beautiful and talented actress. On August 16, 2008 the two became one in a private ceremony in California and helped show the world why gay people deserve the right to get married too.