Jenna Lyons will soon make history as the first openly LGBTQ+ housewife to appear in the main cast of the Real Housewives of New York City.

The designer, who served as both President and Executive Creative Director of J. Crew, also becomes the second openly queer housewife in the franchise’s history.

She follows Julia Lemigova who was the first on Peacock’s Real Housewives of Miami reboot in 2021.

In 2011, when Lyons was 43-years-old, the New York Post published an article suggesting that she was dating a woman a few weeks after it was announced that she was divorcing her ex-husband, Vincent Mazeau.

“The part that was the most harmful was not necessarily about me, but the people around me. I would have wanted to have a more elegant, certainly more private approach,” she explained to The Cut a decade later. “I still don’t know: Am I gay, am I bi? I don’t know if it really matters.”

Lyons will star alongside Sai De Silva, Ubah Hassan, Erin Dana Lichy, Lizzy Savetsky, Jessel Taank, and Brynn Whitfield in the new series.


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Since the franchise launched in 2006, LGBTQ+ representation has been scarce and the handling of such issues has at times been problematic.

There have, however, been staunch allies to the community – such as Lisa Vanderpump and Erika Jayne – featured prominently throughout its different iterations.

The Real Housewives of New York City is expected to debut in 2023.