• Dr. Lauren D. Costine

5 Famous Lesbian Relationships That Lasted a Long Time



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