The Lesbian or Bisexual Heiress: 22 Women Who Had It Made, In Theory

September 23, 2016 - Kindle Unlimited

Last week we were crash-coursing a life of YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous, who’d only come out and who I’d never listened of notwithstanding her apparent widespread celebrity. we was tender and maybe a small confused to see her and her partner cavorting during high conform shows, on yachts, and traversing a universe in a private jet — until we satisfied that her partner is Nats Getty. Obviously there are a lot of abounding people in a universe and many of those abounding people are lesbians — we know, energy lesbians and all that — though when we consider about women with hereditary wealth, a picture tends to be flattering homogeneous: straight, cis, white, conservative, private. Or we suppose Paris Hilton, we guess, or Patty Hearst.

So we set out to find any lesbian or bisexual heiress we could find. And my formula are below. Props to Elisa Rolle, author of Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story during a Time, that we can buy in imitation or for Kindle (I did!) or get it giveaway with Kindle Unlimited — her work was an implausible apparatus for a lot of this list. She’s also got a value trove of story and book reviews during her livejournal.

Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (1660-1744)


Queen Anne of Great Britain named Sarah her “Lady of a Bedchamber.” After all, as Anne’s girlfriend, Sarah had unequaled entrance and influence. After many years of bliss, Sarah got an attitude, Anne met somebody new, and Sarah and her father were discharged from a court. She went on to get a Marlborough trust and spin one of a richest women in Europe.

Ann Walker (1803-1854)

The abounding Halifax heiress Ann Walker met associate estate-owner Anne Lister — of The Secret Diaries Of Miss Anne Lister — in 1832. Lister was 43 and felt her playgirl days were over and it was time to find a wife. Her neighbor, 29-year-old Ann Walker, who’d hereditary a large estate from her family (both her relatives and hermit were deceased, withdrawal Walker unequivocally abounding and unequivocally depressed), had prolonged preoccupied Miss Lister. In 1834, they married — it wasn’t legally recognized, though they had paperwork that entitled them to pieces of any other’s estates. The dual fought frequently though had not nonetheless managed to mangle adult when Lister died in 1840, while they were roving in Russia.

Winnaretta Singer, Princesse Edmond de Polignac (1865 – 1943)


Sure, a successor to a Singer sewing appurtenance happening married a Prince, though on their matrimony night, she climbed on an armoire and threatened to kill him if he approached her. (Their kinship was annulled in 1892). She married happy pledge composer Prince Edmond de Polignac in in 1893. They had a clever artistic and deferential loyalty nonetheless a attribute was never ardent or romantic. She followed lesbian relations around a matrimony and afterwards, including affairs with painter Romaine Brooks, composer Ethel Smyth, pianist Renata Borgatti and socialite/novelist Violet Trefusis. She was vital with British gardening and landscape consultant Alvide Chaplin in London when she died.

Natalie Clifford Barney (1876 – 1972)


Where does one start with a story of Natalie Clifford Barney, really? we theory we start in Dayton, Ohio, where Barney was innate to a son of a abounding railway automobile manufacturer and a French/Dutch/German mother. Or New York, where she met Oscar Wilde and he desirous her to purse her art. Or France, where she went to boarding propagandize and eventually lived full time, hosting a Paris literary salon that became a things of lesbian and chronological legend. Her salon was The Place To Be Seen for remarkable writers, artists and domestic progressives of a era. Barney knew she was a lesbian during a age of 12 and refused to sojourn closeted, plainly propositioning women she preferred and edition lesbian adore poems in her possess name. She eventually started a “Women’s Academy” to foster essay by women (a response to  the mens-only French Acadamy), and pursued non-monogamous relations with a brood of remarkable females including concubine Liane de Pougy, writer Renee Vivien, painter Romaine Brooks and dancer Armen Ohanian. Salon visitors enclosed T.S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Sherwood Anderson, Alice B. Toklas, Mary McCarthy, Jean Cocteau, Djuna Barnes, Radclyffe Hall, Rainer Maria Rilke, Peggy Guggenheim and Isadora Duncan.

Eleanora Randolph Sears (1881 – 1968)

Eleanor Sears with Isabel Pell

Eleanora Sears with Isabel Pell

By a mid-1700s, Sears’ great-great-grandfather was, apparently, a richest masculine in New England. She grew adult personification tennis, roving horses, racing cars and boats and drifting airplanes — she even became a inhabitant tennis champion and a initial women’s squish champion. Although she enjoyed sauce adult and being seen with chaperon Mike Vanderbilt, she had no seductiveness in marriage. She did, however, unequivocally suffer a association of other females, quite within a Old Hollywood Sapphic Scene. In serve to befriending Eleanor Roosevelt and Gertrude Stein, she was remarkable friends and/or lovers with people like Isabell Pell, Mercedes de Acosta, Isadora Duncan, Alla Nazimova, Tallulah Bankhead, Greta Garbo, and Marlene Dietrich. In her ’50s she was targeted for betrayal by Marie Gendron, a most younger lady who speedy her partner to spend expensively and removed her from a rest of her family, eventually appropriation energy of attorney.

Alice Antoinette Delamar (1895-1983)

via Elisa Rolle

via Elisa Rolle

This Colorado cave heiress saved her partner Eva Le Gallienne‘s Civic Repertory Theater, which finished adult being a monumentally critical component of a U.S. repertory entertainment movement. She hereditary a $10 million trust in 1918 during a age of 23, was a enthusiast of a arts, thew intemperate parties, trafficked a universe and confirmed homes on Park Avenue, Paris, West Palm Beach and in Weston, Connecticut. She refused to marry.

Marion Barbara ‘Joe’ Carstairs (1900-1993)

by International News Photos, selected print, Dec 1932 around schoolfield nation house

The daughter of a Standard Oil Trust heiress, Joe was a remarkable “eccentric” who married a masculine childhood crony (French nobleman Count Jacques de Pret) in sequence to benefit entrance to her trust account though her mother’s permission. After her mother’s death, a matrimony was annulled, citing “non-consummation.” Joe was an achieved speed vessel racer famous for her tattoos, her butch display and her affairs with women including Greta Garbo, Tallulah Bankead, Marlene Dietrich and Oliver Wilde’s niece, Dorothy Wilde. She truly lived a dream, however, when, shortly after operative with a Red Cross as an ambulance motorist in World War I, she founded a “X Garage,” “a car-hire and chauffeuring service featuring a women-only staff of drives and mechanics.”

Betty Parsons (1900 – 1982)

Betty Parsons, 1963. Photo Alexander Liberman. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.  J. Paul Getty Trust.

Betty Parsons, 1963. Photo Alexander Liberman. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. © J. Paul Getty Trust.

The “rebellious, self positive brood of an aged new York family” decided during a age of 13 that she wanted to be an artist and set out to spin one. She married a abounding suitor, Schuyler Livingston Parsons, in 1920; like Betty, Parsons was gay, and distinct Betty, he was also a gambler and an alcoholic. After a divorce, she was disinherited by her family, and lived in Paris with British art tyro Adge Baker. Obviously she became pals with Gertrude Stein and Natalie Barney and after infiltrated a Old Hollywood Sapphic scene. Eventually she spent her life with writer/critic/art gourmet Rosalind Constable, who she met during a age of 39. In 1977 she did an talk for an emanate of Heresies clinging to lesbian art and artists though a talk was never published given “the 77-year-old dealer, who had been open about her sexuality in her youth, now rhythmical her privacy.”

Henrietta Bingham (1901 – 1968)

via The Daily Beast around Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham, by Emily Bingham

via The Daily Beast around Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham, by Emily Bingham

Born into a abounding southern family that had done a happening in publishing, Bingham strike a belligerent using during Smith College by instigating an event with one of her professors, Mina Kirstein Curtiss. She went on to pursue an active socail life as a troubadour to a Bloomsbury Group in 1920s London. She antiquated both group and women, including tennis champion Helen Hull Jacobs, actor/producer John Houseman and artist Dora Carrington. She died in 1968, the outcome of her physique losing a ability to conduct her daily cocktail of amphetamines, sedatives and alcohol.

Laura Harding (1902- 1994 )

Laura Harding (Katherine Hepburn is sitting behind her)

Laura Harding (Katherine Hepburn is sitting behind her)

Katherine Hepburn told a crony that Laura Harding saved her life — they were friends for over 60 years, lived together, and were, by most accounts, deeply in love. Hepburn was preoccupied by Harding’s highbrow universe of oppulance luggage, disdainful clubs, gift balls and summers in Santa Barbara. Harding’s great-grandfather, Jay Cooke, was a landowner famous as ‘the banker of a Civil War,’ and his daughter married a owner of a Smith-Barney brokerage firm. Her father was a firm’s comparison partner. According to Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn, Laura Harding “wanted to be a child given her father didn’t have time for girls.” Laura refused to marry, though also deserted a tag “lesbian,” comparing it with girls like Louisa Carpenter, who wore men’s clothing and were open in their office of womanlike lovers, that she deliberate déclassé.

Edwina Mountbatten (1901 – 1960)


My friends, let me tell we that Ivar was not a initial odd Mountbatten. Edwina Cynthia Annette Ashley was an English heiress, socialite and relief-worker, and she married Lord Louis Mounbatten… and afterwards spent all her time going on “daring adventures” and “traveling in severe and mostly dangerous tools of a world” with her sister-in-law and unequivocally best gal pal, Nadeja Mikhailovna Mountbatten.

Margaret West (1903-1963)

When “old safeguard South Texas” oil heiress and vaudeville performer Margaret West upheld in 1963, her estate went to her dearly dear roommate, decorated wordless film star Pola Negri. Negri antiquated and married group for broadside functions and her purported paramours embody Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, and ADOLF HITLER. we consider she favourite Margaret some-more than Hitler.

Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt  (1904-1965)


Anderson Cooper’s grandmother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, was indicted of being a lesbian during a rarely publicized control hearing over her daughter (Anderson’s mother), Gloria Vanderbilt (who recently confessed to her son that she’d had a lesbian event as a teenager), following her husband’s death. It’s never been suggested with certainty either or not Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt did indeed have an event with Nadejda Mikhailovna Mountbatten, Marchioness of Milford Haven, though a small idea of it — along with other accusations of mental instability — was adequate to means her to remove control of her child to Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.

Louisa Carpenter (1907-1976)


Dupont Heiress Louisa D’Andelot Carpenter bailed her girlfriend, theatre thespian and flame thespian Libby Holman, out of jail after Libby shot and killed her husband. The dual lifted Libby’s son together and went on to adopt a child in a attribute that was mostly supposed by their peers. Rumor has it that Carpenter was also involved, during several times, with actresses Tallulah Bankhead, Louise Brooks and Greta Garbo.

There’s a large opening here — we burst from someone innate in 1907 to someone innate in 1948 — and only a few people on a some-more new finish of that timeline than not. Why is this?

Firstly, everybody innate before to 1907 is dead, definition their private lives have already spin satisfactory diversion for biographers and historians, distinct those who are still alive and competence take emanate with that characterization. But it could only be manners — behind in a day, it was uncivil to pry, notwithstanding what report seemed in a press, so people went about their happy lives underneath a radar and left records. When happy and lesbian identities became politicized in a mid-to-late 20th century and a judgment of “living openly” became a thing one was speedy to do in sequence to serve a polite rights cause, it’s probable lesbian and bisexual heiresses ducked as distant out of a spotlight as possible, lest they be pressured to attend in on-going politics or comment on viewed ardent behaviors. (A totally legit enterprise — nobody should be forced to come out if they’re not actively operative opposite a cause, and private people have a right to live private lives.)

Anyhow, so let us burst brazen in time…

Olive F. Watson (b. 1948)


Olive, a member of a I.B.M. initial family, pulled an engaging authorised pierce in 1991 when she trafficked to Maine in sequence to legally adopt her lesbian partner, Patricia Ann Spado. This was dictated to validate Spado, her partner of many years, as an successor to Watson’s estate notwithstanding same-sex matrimony not being accessible during a time. The dual pennyless adult a following year, however, that got unequivocally wily in 2004 when Spado stepped brazen to explain her square of Olive’s mother’s estate on her death. By that point, Olive was vital in Miami with her stream partner and their dual adopted children.

Halina Avery (b. 1969)

Avery Denison heiress and show thespian Halina Avery had a unequivocally open divorce move with her partner of 15 years, Molly Caldwell, in 2006. The dual had accommodate in college and nonetheless same-sex matrimony wasn’t legal, they did “everything but” to concrete their union. But after Caldwell kissed another lady in a bar, Avery kicked her out and took authorised movement to safeguard Caldwell was not authorised in their commune or on her life word policy. Caldwell counter-sued for marriage support. It was a whole thing. Halina is now married to Kim Stead and they have a daughter, Halina Anne Avery-Stead. She serves on a house of a Dunfee Foundation, that launched a Gay and Lesbian Fund in 2002.

Casey Johnson (1977-2010)


Johnson died tragically in 2009 during a age of 32, about a month after we interviewed her and her then-girlfriend Tila Tequila for this website. The Johnson Johnson heiress was a remarkable socialite and ardent partier. Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes during a age of eight, she co-authored a book about handling diabetes with her father and was concerned with a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. After an heated and thespian attribute with associate heiress Courtenay Semel in 2008-2009, Johnson began dating Semel’s ex, Tila Tequila. Her family, undone during Johnson’s refusal to pursue mental health diagnosis (Johnson had been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder), cut her off about a month before she died of diabetic ketoacidosis, a outcome of not holding her insulin.

Courtenay Semel (b. 1979)

photo by Robin Roemer (cropped by me)

from a sketch by Robin Roemer

The daughter of former Yahoo! authority and CEO Terry Semel, Courtenay has, in a difference of The Frisky, “seen some-more millionaire cooch than a Beverly Hills gyno.” She seemed in a few cinema and did existence television, was famously related to Lindsay Lohan before to Lohan’s attribute with Samantha Ronson, followed by a attribute with Casey Johnson and afterwards Tila Tequila. The self-declared “Don Juan of a Lesbian world” was all over a report mags for a time, before holding 4 years out of a spotlight to attend rehab and get a master’s degree. According to her stream Twitter bio, these days Semel is doing a following: “Writer. Producer. Startup Founder. LGBT Advocate. M.A Clinical Psychology, (MFTI, CCP) My Mission: Heal a world, one Teen during a time.”

Gigi Chao (b. 1979)


The daughter of Hong Kong genuine estate aristocrat Cecil Chao found herself bearing in a spotlight in 2012 when her father offered $65 million to any masculine swain who’d marry his daughter and afterwards upped a annuity to $80 million in 2014. Gigi had married Sean Eav, her partner of 9 years, in France in 2012. Gigi responded to her father’s offer with an open minute to her father in a press, fast apropos a hypervisible purpose indication to other lesbian and bisexual women. She is a owner of a Faith in Love Foundation.

Christina Wyley (b. late 70s/early 80s)


Christina’s father, Sam, is a Dallas-based co-founder of Sterling Software and a vital Republican donor — nonetheless it appears things have taken a spin for him financially in new years. Christina got some press following her lavish 2013 matrimony to Deborah Dyer (stage name: Skin, of Skunk Anansie), that left a integrate suing a venue for a array of astonishing bills. The integrate has given damaged up. These days, Christina is working as an eccentric sustainability strategist with a concentration on food and cultivation and appears to be dating or married to or holding a lot of amatory instagram cinema with a man.

Megan Ellison (b. 1986)

American Hustle New York Screening

Ellison’s father is Larry Ellison, chairman of a Oracle Corporation. She began her career as a writer after saying lesbian classical Loving Annabelle and reaching out to a director, Katherine Brooks, about investing in her subsequent movie. Ellison founded Annapurna Pictures in 2011 to deposit in “original, adventurous cinema done by prestigious directors and screenwriters.” Noted releases embody Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, Katherine Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, Spike Jonze’s Her and David O. Russell’s American Hustle. In 2014, she was named one of a 100 Most Influential People in a World by TIME Magazine and became a initial lady to be nominated for dual Best Picture Oscars in a same year.

Nats Getty (b. 1993)

Nats Getty photographed by Molly Adams for Curve Magazine around DapperQ

Nats Getty photographed by Molly Adams for Curve Magazine around DapperQ

Getty Oil heiress Nats Getty is an LGBT advocate, indication and conform engineer and a owner of wardrobe and lifestyle code Strike Oil. She desirous this post as it was recently suggested that Getty is dating transgender YouTube luminary Gigi Gorgeous, who came out as a lesbian on her channel this week.

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