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  • Dr. Lauren D. Costine


When it comes to Lesbian relationships, many people think these relationships are not long lasting. To show you some examples that this isn’t true, here are 5 Famous Lesbian Relationships That Lasted.


Couple number one, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas were together 39 from 1907 until Stein’s death in 1946. Alice helped Gertrude with her business and persona life. Hemingway called their relationship a “traditional marriage” in the sense that Alice took care of Gertrude so that she could write. They were also famous for their “Salons.” These famous mid-afternoon soirees were creatively driven – they had poetry and prose readings, artist’s viewings. Picasso and Hemingway were regular attendees.


Radclyffe Hall and Una Toutridge were together for 26 years from 1917 until Hall’s Death in 1943. Marguerite “John” Radclyffe Hall is best known for her groundbreaking lesbian novel called The Well of Loneliness. Uta was an educated woman and successful artist in her own right – well know for her talent as a sculptor.

Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon were together for 56 years from 1952 until Martin’s death in 2008. They were the first couple to be married when the marriage act in California was first overturned in 2008. Major pioneers in the Lesbian Equality movement they help create the first lesbian organization in US history (1955) called The Daughters of Bilitis, which was politically motivated. It was designed to help lesbians develop connections with each other in a dangerous and closeted time.


Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner met in 1971 and were legally married in 2014. They have been together for 43 years. They originally met through artistic collaboration and have been creating art together ever since. Jane has written a number of pieces Lily has preformed in including the critically acclaimed The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. Both Lily and Jane have won numerous awards in their professional lives.


Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have been together for 11 years since 2004 – they were married in 2008 during the first window of CA marriage equality legalization. Ellen’s coming out episode in her then TV show Ellen was a pivotal moment in the lesbian equality movement. The outness of their relationship and wedding has also played an important role in aiding lesbian visibility.


– Lauren D. Costine PhD

  • Dr. Lauren D. Costine

Lesbian Relationship Help: Why is Lesbian Dating Difficult and the Roots of Lesbian Phobia Lesbian phobia, coined by Dr. Lauren Costine, is a relatively new idea and not commonly used. However, it could not be more relevant to our society; simply acknowledging homophobia does not encompass everything that lesbians have to deal with, both externally and internally.

Referring to society as homophobic implies that there is a fear or hatred of LGBT individuals or those who are same-sex oriented. However, it does not recognize the struggle that is faced by lesbians since, as women, they have to deal with more deeply rooted issues that have been prevalent in society for a long time.

These issues stem from misogyny. We live in a largely misogynistic society that demonstrates its patriarchy by sending messages and implications that women are not as strong, smart, or capable as men. As a result, nearly all women grow up internalizing the message that they are not as valued and lauded by society as males are.

On top of growing up in a patriarchal culture, women who are same-sex oriented also live and evolve in a homophobic society. So, because lesbians are women, misogyny and homophobia work in conjunction to form what is called a double oppression, making an already tough world even tougher for lesbians.

Whether or not a woman knows that she is a lesbian, the negative and oppressive messages that society sends women get internalized. However, even when a lesbian comes out and is very prideful about it, these internalized messages are still things that they have to deal with. These are messages that tell women they are not good enough, or do not matter; they devalue what women have to say, telling them that when they defend themselves, they’re somehow “too much” to handle. They tell women that when they get angry, they are being “irrational” and unnecessarily unkind.

The most important thing for women to do in a society like this is to deal with internalized messages directly and realize that it is misogyny and homophobia they’re dealing with. By acknowledging this and dealing with it directly, lesbian women can gain a sense of internal liberation. This in turn can lead to a more positive experience when it comes to lesbian dating. When these issues are not addressed, they can unconsciously be projected onto one’s partner resulting in relationship difficulties.

– Lauren D. Costine PhD

You can check out Dr. Lauren Costine’s newly released book on Lesbian Relationships called Lesbian Love Addiction Understanding the Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things Go Wrong.

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