Iconic 50+ Queer Women You Better Know

Bask in their glory.

It’s that time of year again! It’s Women’s History Month! There are SO many amazing women to recognize this month — but today we wanted to focus your attention on a few queer women who are 50+ and thriving. Whether you’re looking for a new girl crush or for a bit of queer history with a dash of the contemporary, you’ve come to the right place. We’re taking you to school.

Behold: 11 queer 50+ queer women that are changing the world, making history, entertaining us, and keeping us crushing….hard.

Amanda Lepore

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Amanda Lepore (@amandalepore) on

A muse to David LaChapelle, Susanne Bartsch, and many others; Amanda Lepore is incomparable and without question one of the most gorgeous and mesmerizing women working today. If you don’t have her entire existence memorized, hop to it! A fixture of NY and LA nightlife, she exemplifies beauty, grace, and the term “legend” in every qualification. A former Club Kid, she is a model, a “celebutante,” and a performance artist who lives life in her art.

With the rise of drag and RuPaul’s Drag Race, she’s had an extremely busy decade touring with the likes of Violet Chachki, Dita Von Teese, Candis Cayne, and so many more. There’s basically no way she’s going to be slowing down anytime soon. So, knowing who she is will always make you seem savvy and cosmopolitan AF. If you do have the incredible fortune to actually see her IRL, know that you are probably at the premiere party to attend that evening and that you have essentially made it as a human being.

On her Instagram (which could perhaps only be described as “titillating”), she recently posted the video for her latest record, Buckle Up. Virtually all of Amanda Lepore’s songs are wild electro-clash romps that make you feel like being totally bad and looking dazzlingly while doing it. So, slide into your iTunes playlist, turn up the volume, and live a fantasy.

Carmelita Tropicana

Funny thing about Carmelita Tropicana (well, she’s hilarious), but her namesake was also used as an insult that Bette said to Papi in the basketball game episode of “The L Word” in Season 4. It’s always nice to be mentioned in The (iconic) “L Word” and mentioned Carmelita Tropicana was. Now that I have your attention…

Carmelita is a canonical feminist performance artist whose oeuvre has merged absurdist experimental theatre techniques with Queer and Latinx cultural commentary and institutional critique. Oh, yeah and she also won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2017. No big deal, she’s just a certified genius and a total trailblazer. Plus, if her collaboration with Marga Gomez, Single Wet Female, is any indication; she’s available.

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy

-0

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Miss Major Griffin-Gracy (@missmajor1) on

Miss Major is a transcestor you should absolutely know and be supporting. As an activist, she has worked her entire life to aid trans people and especially trans people of color. Having been one the incredible trans sisters literally fighting for our queer right to exist both at the Stonewall Riots and beyond, she is living history and we’re lucky to have her power and beauty with us on this earth.

You’ve likely seen her out and about existing fiercely and fighting for queer folks everywhere. She serves as the Executive Director for the Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project, which aims to assist transgender persons who are disproportionately incarcerated under the prison industrial system. If you don’t know her, look her up immediately.

Jenny Shimizu

This one is for all you handsome heartthrobs out there. Put down your copy of Stone Butch Blues, adjust your devil-may-care short haircuts, and feast your eyes on Jenny Shimizu. A model, actress, and unequivocal vanguard of female masculinity on screen, she is as visually striking now as ever. She’s married to a socialite, Michelle Harper (one of our 2018 100 Women We Love!) and everything from their marriage to their super cute, very on trend life together is picture perfect.

You should also really see her in Foxfire with Angelina friggin Jolie. You think that’s impressive? Butch, please. She also f*cking DATED Angelina Jolie in between her infamous blood-drinking, brother-kissing, Billy Bob Thornton phase, and her Brad Pitt, sexy action film phase So, if you’re the type that hangs out at Equinox cruising for curious girls, Jenny Shimizu is your god now. 

Carol Pope

Carol Pope, Carol Pope, Carol Pope. Be obsessed with Carol Pope. Lead singer of Rough Trade, she has written so many lesbian anthems. It’s crazy! She wrote a song, Crimes Of Passion, that includes of my favorite lines ever: “Her hand slipped down into the moistness of herself. She pulled her knees up, spread eagle on the bed.” She, of course, had a tumultuous, iconic affair with Dusty Springfield and, duh, she’s a total Leo. But, the thing to really remember about Carol Pope is that she is one of the coolest people in all of LA.

Holland Taylor

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Holland (@hollandvtaylor) on

Ok, listen. Holland Taylor is an amazing woman, she is an incredible actress, playwright– and she is everybody’s favorite mega-rich eccentric mother (or maybe just Helena Peabody’s)! All of that aside, there is a very profound and important reason why you must be able to identify her in less than 5 seconds with minimal visual information. SHE IS SARAH PAULSON’S GIRLFRIEND! You should be able to identify the sound of her breathing from at least five miles away. Get on Instagram right now and follow her. That’s an order, soldier!

Peaches

You probably know who Peaches is. Like seriously, it’s Peaches! They are arguably one of the queerest people alive. They even did a spot on “The L Word” where they wore a merkin (a vagina wig) onstage while singing their decidedly pansexual anthem “I U She.” They tried to dance with Shane but got denied (lol). If that’s not a reason to know who they are, I clearly don’t know what is. The point is, check out their discography. It’s gay AF and it will make you gayer. Start with “Mommy Complex” because it’s my favorite.

Jane Wagner

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @bad_ass_katherine on

Jane Wagner is everything. If this is even possible, SHE IS LILY TOMLIN’S BETTER HALF. She’s a writer and longtime collaborator with Tomlin so, basically a lot of what you love about Lily Tomlin, you will love about Jane Wagner. Together they are the perfect couple (which is literally insane because Lily Tomlin is a VIRGO and Jane Wagner is a PISCES). Watch the “Incredible Shrinking Woman” right now and tell me that it’s not the most amazing thing any couple has ever done, gay or straight!!

Guinevere Turner

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Guinevere Turner (@guinevereturner) on

On screen, Guinevere Turner is as beautiful as she is maleficent. She plays a lot of charming bitches. I personally enjoy her a lot  — she’s totally my vibe. It’s important that a young queer person know her by sight because she is an actress of note. She played Gabby Deveaux, Alice’s toxic on again/off again ex on “The L Word.” She was also the titular character, Max West, in “Go Fish” (which you should definitely watch with a group of drunk gay friends if you haven’t seen it yet). She was in an excellent movie called “Preaching to the Perverted” that I can’t recommend highly enough. She also co-wrote “American Psycho” and “The Notorious Bettie Page.” If you are single and living in LA, you should consider working to be able to visually identify her across a crowded room.

Amanda Barrie

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Good Morning Britain (@gmb) on

If you’ve spent time in the UK, you may know Amanda Barrie as Alma Sedgewick from “Coronation Street” on BBC. A Virgo, she was delightfully difficult to pin down during her stint on “Celebrity Big Brother” (UK). She’s magnetically posh, poised, and energetic with her partner, Hilary Bonner, an English crime novelist and a decided pragmatist to her whimsical elder “manic pixie dream girl” vibe. Exceedingly British and amiable, the pair are so patently adorable and quaintly cosmopolitan, they make you wish you could be a fly on the wall of their picturesque queer life.

Rose Troche

Rose Troche is perhaps one of the queers you should know most immediately on this list. She’s directed and written work for some of our most obsessive faves including “The L Word,” “Go Fish,” “Ugly Betty,” “Greenleaf,” and “Concussion.” If you don’t know her by sight already, you need to start making some flash cards, bb.

Learn it, love it, live it! All these women are well worth the research spiral so log on to Instagram and get to stalking, queerdos.

It would be impossible to include every brilliant queer woman on one single list — so we’re making more! Let us know in the comments the queer women you want to celebrate this Women’s History Month and stay tuned.