Lisa Vanderpump Is Becoming Bravo’s Fiercest Pride Ally


The Big Picture

  • Lisa Vanderpump has consistently shown support for the LGBTQIA+ community throughout her career and on Vanderpump Rules.
  • She has spoken out against homophobic remarks and attended LA Pride events, demonstrating her commitment to inclusivity.
  • Vanderpump has partnered with organizations like The Trevor Project and received awards for her advocacy, but has also faced challenges and tensions within the Vanderpump Rules cast.

From renowned dog supporter, shelter owner, and animal rights activist to mental health advocate, Lisa Vanderpump has proven to be consistent throughout the years as an LGBTQIA+ ally. Some would argue that Vanderpump has been exploiting her image as an ally to promote Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules show since it aired in 2013. The spin-off was greenlit in between filming Seasons 3 and 4 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and has reached a climax with Season’s 10 recent « Scandoval » cheating scandal, involving co-stars Tom Sandoval, Ariana Madix, and Raquel Leviss. With transgender co-star Billie Lees comeback, Tom may have a former friend to rely on during this next season post-scandal.

As a real housewife, Vanderpump originally appeared to have an endearing friendship with her gay business partner and former house guest Cedric Martinez.That was before he allegedly took advantage of their assets and spoke poorly of Lisa and Ken Todd, which ended ties with them completely back in Season 2 in 2011. In later seasons, she was handed a Palm Springs Equality Award in honor of LGBTQIA+ advocates, and up until now, she’s stated to be proud of her friendships with LGBTQIA+ celebrities like NSYNC’s band member Lance Bass and RuPaul’s Drag Race star Trixie Mattel — the first one having made several appearances on RHOBH and Vanderpump Rules, and the latter as a guest star on Overserved with Lisa Vanderpump.

Lisa Has Made It Her Business To Make Pride a Regular Event on ‘Vanderpump Rules’

Image via Bravo

As an executive producer of Vanderpump Rules, Lisa has been open to filming episodes celebrating LA Pride events at her restaurants. She has also expressed her disapproval towards homophobic remarks made by cast members and third parties. This includes comments made by the pastor who was supposed to officiate Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright‘s wedding in 2019. Ryan Dotson, the Christian pastor, made posts on his social media comparing gay marriage, transgender pastors, and more, to sin. During that season, both Brittany and Jax were confronted by fellow cast member Tom Sandoval. He asked them if it had taken Lisa Vanderpump’s disapproval for them to switch pastors — to which both Brittany and Jax replied in bursts of anger that they were not aligned with what the pastor had said. Brittany later reaffirmed her support to the community by stating that they had taken care of the situation in response to a fan’s comment. Later that season, they announced that Vanderpump’s friend Lance Bass would be the one to officiate the wedding.

Adding transgender woman and comedian Billie Lee as part of the cast posed a challenge to some of the other members when originally introduced in Season 6. After some formed alliances with co-star Tom Sandoval, and alleged dating rumors, she was later fired from the show in 2019. Low and behold, it was recently reported through Zach Peter’s NoFilter podcast, that an unknown source close to production revealed that Billie Lee would be included as a recurrent cast member, and as a friend of Tom Sandoval in its upcoming eleventh season.

As for Lisa’s affinity with the queer scene, Lisa has stated in the past that she and Ken used to own a gay bar in London back in the day before settling in the US. Even throughout her entertainment career, she’s been consistently surrounded with members of the LGBTQIA+ community on and off camera for the management of her restaurants, dog rescue center, and event planning. Gay wedding planner Kevin Lee, who was Lisa’s daughter Pandora’s official wedding planner, made a number of appearances on both RHOBH and a couple on Vanderpump Rules. One of her producers for Vanderpump Rules is former reality star Patrick McDonald, who may be remembered for being on Fire Island‘s one and only season on Logo TV.

RELATED: The ‘Vanderpumps Rules’ Universe Is Headed to France With ‘Vanderpump Villa’

Lisa’s Support Hasn’t Just Been About Holding Rainbow Flags

Lisa Vanderpump From RHOBH
Image via Evolution Media

Not only has she attended most (if not all) LA Pride events during the span of Vanderpump Rules, but she has also consistently shown her appreciation towards the community on social media. Back in 2016 when The Orlando Pulse shooting left 49 dead, she took it upon herself to lead a caravan all in red. She later tweeted: « As we remember the victims @pulseorlando opens tonight six months after massacre. #standstrongLGBT. »

In 2020, Lisa also partnered with The Trevor Project: a non-profit organization that has been working towards offering mental health aid, suicide prevention hotlines, and therapy tools for LGBTQIA+ youth around the US. She has also appeared a couple of times as their spokesperson for their online advertisements on Instagram. Additionally, Vanderpump was honored at the Hollywood Legacy Awards For LGBTQ Advocacy in 2019, along with Hollywood Medium star Tyler Henry and actress Lily Tomlin.

Despite Lisa’s efforts to stay true to the LGBTQIA+ community, it hasn’t always been a pleasant ride for her or her Vanderpump Rules alumni. After a couple of seasons on the show, Billie Lee announced that the show was no longer something for her and later revealed on a podcast that she’d been fired.

It was also no secret during the show that co-star Jax Taylor spoke out about not wanting to film with her. There had also been some tension with her and the rest of the cast as well during Season 8. And after certain rumors that came up during Season 8’s reunion about her and Tom Sandoval dating, she diffused by confirming all they had was a friendship: « …he literally reminds me of a best friend I went to high school with or something. But there’s nothing sexual there. » Her return is allegedly because of Tom Sandoval needing someone to talk to during filming, after the recent Scandoval scandal with him and Ariana Madix that came out recently in Season 10.

At the 2019 LA Pride stage, in front of her PUMP restaurant, Lisa took the stage to reinforce her ardent support for the LGBTQIA+ community:

« Hello! Happy Pride. This is such and incredible moment… I’ve been supporting you guys for years. Let us not forget, it’s 50 years ago since the Stonewall riots. We’re all going to stand up. We’re on your f-ing side. You listen up…We are going to move forward every step of the way. And I know over the last 3 days, there hasn’t been any trouble. There has been love, and support, and acceptance, and embracing each other. And that’s the world we want to live in. So I love each and every one of you. Let’s preach it to the world… »

Now as for Billie, she’s been up to finishing her book called Why Are You So Sensitive, to performing stand-up comedy, and making podcast appearances. We will have to wait until Vanderpump Rules‘ Season 11, which is rumored to come out early 2024, to see Lisa’s employer-like relationship with Billie Lee.



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