‘Real Housewives of Miami’ to star first out lesbian housewife
The ‘Real Housewives of Miami’ are back after an eight-year hiatus and they’re bringing a first out lesbian housewife to the franchise: Julia Lemigova.
Lemigova is set to bring lesbian drama to the series, a former Russian beauty queen who is married to pro tennis player Martina Navratilova.
While other housewives have come out during or after their time on the show, Lemigova will be the first to be out at the start of the show.
The show is expected to debut on December 16 on the streaming service Peacock.
A lesbian housewife from Russia
Lemigova was Miss USSR 1990 and represented the Soviet Union at the Miss Universe 1991 pageant, coming in as second runner-up. She later moved to Paris.
Lemigova married long-time partner Navratilova in New York in December 2014. The tennis star had proposed to her during the US Open in September of that year.
The two had first met in 2008 during a dinner party, and again at a French restaurant 14 years later. At that time, Julia was running a skincare business while raising two daughters.
According to the Bravo cable TV network, Lemigova “runs a small farm outside of Miami and can often be found on the farm feeding the chickens or milking goats, amongst the menagerie of animals found on her property.”
Aside from Lemigova, the season will have returning housewives Larsa Pippen, Alexia Echevarria, and Lisa Hochstein. New cast members include Lemigova, Guerdy Abraira, and Dr. Nicole Martin.
Also appearing include fan favorites Marysol Patton and Adriana de Moura, as well as newbie Kiki Barth as “friends of” this season.
Real Housewives and the LGBTQ community
Before Lemigova, there was former ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ star Braunwyn Windham-Burke who came out as a lesbian in 2020.
During an interview with the LGBTQ media monitoring organization GLAAD, Windham-Burke said: “I’m finally comfortable enough to say I like women. I’m gay. I’m a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m a lesbian.”
“It has taken me 42 years to say that, but I’m so proud of where I am right now and I’m so happy where I am– and to be able to be comfortable in my own skin after so long is just so nice,” she said.
Meanwhile, Windham-Burke’s co-star Elizabeth Lyn Vargas had revealed she was bisexual. Another newcomer in the upcoming season, Noella Bergener, had declared she was bisexual.
Previously, the franchise had been criticized for its lack of LGBTQ diversity. Executive producer Andy Cohen said in an interview that Bravo had considered adding a gay man in the early 2000s.
They did consider several lesbians to cast, Cohen said, but this didn’t pan out.