Friday, May 24, 2024

The Real Housewives of New York welcomes first out cast member

Jenna Lyons, out American fashion designer and former creative director and president for J.Crew joins the cast of The Real Housewives of New York.

Lyons will join Sai De Silva, Ubah Hassan, Erin Lichy, Lizzy Savetsky, Jessel Taank and Brynn Whitfield — the cast of Season 14.

In an exclusive interview with Variety earlier this year, Real Housewives executive producer Andy Cohen mentioned that Bravo was looking for a cast that truly reflected New York City.

Lyons, 54, certainly does: her Instagram handle is @jennalyonsnyc. And she was outed by Manhattan, Murdoch-owned tabloid the New York Post in 2011.

In a 2021 essay for The Cut, a section in New York Magazine, Lyons described being outed at the age of 43 during a J.Crew meeting, where she was new in the role: “I was running a pretty large meeting. I was standing in front of the room, and I get a call over the intercom. The heads of marketing were on the other end, and they said, ‘We have a call from New York Post. There’s a report that you’re seeing a woman — should we confirm or deny?’”

“You have to imagine: I’m standing on the phone with a whole room full of people and I can feel their eyes on me. And I’m like, literally six weeks into this totally new relationship. I heard the word ‘confirm’ come out of my mouth. It wasn’t like I was confirming that I was gay or that I was bi. The truth was, I was seeing a woman, so yes, confirmed. I wasn’t going to lie about it. And then it just kind of snowballed.”

Lyons appeared to acknowledge the cast announcement last week with an Instagram post thanking people for their support.

The news of Lyons’ involvement was welcomed by GLAAD. “Bravo has a long history of casting interesting, entertaining, and dynamic LGBTQ people in their highly popular programming,” GLAAD Vice President of Communications & Talent Anthony Allen Ramos said in a statement. “It’s exciting to see Jenna Lyons, a highly successful woman in business and a member of the LGBTQ community, join the newly rebooted The Real Housewives of New York City which is one of the network’s most beloved series.”

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