10 of the longest-lasting LGBT celebrity couples: from Michael Kors’ intern love affair and Elton John’s four-decade relationship, to RuPaul’s long-distance marriage and George Takei’s 18-year secret
In celebration of Pride Month, we take a look a some celebrity LGBTQ+ couples that have been together for decades.
Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner met five decades ago
In the early 70s, actress Tomlin reached out to writer Wagner to get help with a character she was playing. Their meeting was love at first sight, Tomlin said.
“A friend brought her to my hotel room, and I tell you, in two minutes, I fell in love with her,” Tomlin told Variety in 2020. “She had on hot pants, stretchy boots that went up to her knee, and a little backpack. I don’t know what it was, but I was in love.”
After their meeting, Tomlin flew to Chicago but then immediately flew back to New York to go on a date with Wagner. Over the next few decades, the two created a romantic and professional partnership that resulted in some of the best comedies of the 80s and 90s. It wasn’t until 2013 that the pair tied the knot.
George Takei and Brad Altman have been an item since the 80s
Star Trek actor Takei joined a running group in the 80s and met a fellow member, Brad Altman. Together, they trained for 5ks and 10ks before eventually becoming romantically involved. They kept their relationship a secret for 18 years before Takei came out publicly in 2005. In 2008, the coupled got married, according to HuffPost.
“We truly are a team – me as the actor, writer, activist and Brad as the manager, scheduler and all-around essential guy,” Takei told Variety in 2020. “And we love being able to share our lives and our livelihood.”
Elton John and David Furnish have been together for almost 30 years
In 1993, John admitted to being sober for the first time in a decade, and he looked for a new social circle to support his new lifestyle. His friend brought Furnish, a Canadian filmmaker, to dinner and the two felt an instant connection.
In 2005, the couple said “I do” in a civil partnership. They made it an official marriage in 2014 when same-sex marriage was legalised in England. Today, they have two children together.
“Every Saturday for 16 years, we’ve sent each other a card,” John told Parade magazine in 2016. “No matter where we are in the world, to say how much we love each other.”
RuPaul met his future husband, Georges LeBar, in a dance club in 1994
In 1994, RuPaul met Georges LeBar, a rancher in Wyoming, on the dance floor of New York’s famous nightclub, the Limelight. In 2017, the couple said “I do” on the anniversary of their dance-floor “meet-cute”, Marie Claire reported.
“He works the ranch, I work Hollywood, and we meet up in fabulous places,” RuPaul told Entertainment Tonight in 2017. “You know, he needs breaks from time to time because it’s a very different life. So, we plan little getaways once a month, you know? New York or Maui or San Francisco or Vegas. We do that.”
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi have been together for 18 years
DeGeneres and De Rossi met in 2004 and instantly felt a connection, but De Rossi wasn’t out to the public yet: The actress told Oprah in 2012 that she hadn’t been ready “to date the most famous lesbian in the world”.
In 2005, she spoke to The Advocate about coming out and by 2008, the couple tied the knot. They have been married ever since.
“Portia and I constantly say to each other, ‘We are so lucky.’ Sometimes it’s lying in bed at night before I go to sleep, and I just say thank you to whatever, whoever is out there,” DeGeneres told People magazine in 2016.
Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka met 18 years ago
When they met on a street corner in New York City in 2004, Harris thought Burtka was straight but was completely enamoured by him. Slowly, they grew closer at other social gatherings.
“I initially fell for David harder than he fell for me,” Harris told Out magazine in 2012. “I was in love with him before he was comfortable saying it, and I think that speaks to our past experiences. I remember saying, ‘I think I love you’, and he was like, ‘That’s really nice’, which is not necessarily what you want to hear.”
Still, Burtka – who is also an actor – was the one who proposed first on the same street corner where they met, Out magazine reported. They tied the knot in 2014 and now have twins together.
Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon had never dated a woman before she met Christine Marinoni in 2004
Nixon and Marinoni met while advocating for state schools in 2004, a year after Nixon broke it off with her high school sweetheart.
“I had never dated a woman before or even kissed a woman or anything, and so when we started seeing each other, Christine kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for me to panic about what this would mean – to my career or to myself – as if somehow I just hadn’t noticed that she was a woman. And then she met my mother and that was when she stopped worrying about it,” Nixon told the Radio Times in 2017.
The two tied the knot in 2012 and have one child together, a son named Max.
Queer Eye’s Tan France and his husband Rob have been married for 15 years
Tan met his future husband, Rob France, on a dating app over a decade ago. Rob is an illustrator and a Mormon from Wyoming, while Tan is a Muslim from England. Together, they bonded over their religious backgrounds.
“It made it easier to date somebody who had similarities to me. I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t smoke,” France told the New York Post in 2018. “We practice some of our religions’ practices. We don’t practice them all. We practice what works for us.”
The two wed in 2007, according to Newsweek, and welcomed their first child together in July 2021.
Matt Bomer and Simon Halls’ secretive relationship began over a decade ago
In 2012, actor Bomer came out during an acceptance speech, revealing he had three sons with publicist Simon Halls. In 2014, he dropped another bombshell, telling the public that he and Halls had actually been married since 2011. Since their relationship is mostly private, it’s unclear exactly how or when they met, but their twins were born in 2008, according to UK tabloid Metro.
“Well, we have three kids right now, so you’ve got to fit the romance in when you can,” Bomer told People magazine in 2016. “[My grandparents] just celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary, so I always look to them and I see how every day they express their love for each other and I try to follow. They’ve set a pretty good model for me to follow.”
Michael Kors met his long-time partner Lance LePere when he was an intern … for his own company
Michael Kors and Lance LePere were first introduced in 1990 when LePere was interning for Kors’ company, according to CBS News. The pair tied the knot in August 2011, shortly after the New York State Assembly legalised same-sex marriage in June of that year.
“Lance and I are very excited to finally be able to have the opportunity to marry in our home state after many years together,” Kors told People.
“To marry someone as wonderful and special to me as Lance barefoot on a glorious beach is more than I could have dreamed of,” Kors told Women’s Wear Daily at the wedding.
- RuPaul met his future husband Georges LeBar in a dance club in 1994, while Star Trek’s George Takei and Brad Altman have been an item since the 80s
- Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka met 18 years ago, while Sex and the City ’s Cynthia Nixon had never dated a woman before she met Christine Marinoni in 2004