Have ‘The Real Housewives’ Featured a Main LGBTQ Cast Member?

Iconic Real Housewives cast members seem to be dropping like flies with Bethenny Frankel from The Real Housewives of New York City being the latest to call it quits.

In the last year, Lisa Vanderpump from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vicki Gunvalson from The Real Housewives of Orange County have either quit or were demoted. All three ladies are OGs in their respective franchises, which may have led Bravo to consider mixing it up a bit.

Gina Kirschenheiter, Emily Simpson, Shannon Beador, Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge, Kelly Dodd
Gina Kirschenheiter, Emily Simpson, Shannon Beador, Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge, Kelly Dodd |John Tsiavis/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

New Housewives have been announced for both RHONY and RHOBH. But Bravo is doing something entirely different too. A source revealed on the Straight Shutter podcast, executives want to spice up the formula by adding a gay (or straight) “house husband,” Radar Online reports.

The formula needs updating

When the franchise debuted in 2006, RHOC featured a group of wealthy, married women and their families. The show, which seemed to be a “real” take on the fiercely popular Desperate Housewives on ABC had more of a traditional flavor, giving fans a peek behind the gated community of Coto de Caza.

As the franchise flourished, more groups of women were added to the mix. Housewives from Atlanta, New York City, New Jersey, Beverly Hills, and Dallas all found homes on Bravo. Although each new series featured women from different regions, the formula was typically the same. Affluent, indulged women who interact and typically counteract each other was the running theme.

Gizelle Bryant, Candiace Dillard Bassett
Gizelle Bryant, Candiace Dillard Bassett|Shannon Finney/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

But on the heels of a number of departures, Bravo felt the need to change the formula. Which meant possibly going completely rogue after 13 years of Real Housewives. “Over a decade ago the show was focused on casting married ladies with children, [and] there was outrage when Bethenny Frankel., a single lady without a child was cast,” the source told Straight Shutter podcast. “Now, most of the women are not even housewives!”

Is including a man the right move?

The source suggested that the formula mixup meant that a man could join the cast. “It isn’t clear if the guy will be a gay man who runs the home while his husband brings home the bacon, or if they go with a straight stay-at-home fella, whose wife is the bread winner,” the source said.

ReaL Housewives of New Jersey Cast
Margaret Josephs, Teresa Giudice, Melissa Gorga, Dolores Catania, Siggy Flicker |Rodolfo Martinez/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

According to Out, going with a gay man seems to be the only way to go. “Clearly if a man is going to join RHONY as a main cast member, he will have to be gay — otherwise Ramona Singer and Sonja Morgan will just take turns trying to f**k him.,” Rose Dommu humorously pointed out. “And can you imagine a straight man trying to comfort Tinsley when she starts crying about her frozen eggs during a vacation to Majorca? Not believable.”

How unique would it be to feature an LGBTQ cast member?

Bravo has a number of LGBTQ cast members on a variety of its shows. From Vanderpump Rules and Million Dollar Listing to Below Deck, gay and trans cast members have been well represented.

But the Housewives franchise has only included a few gay friends or family members of the main cast. But thus far none of the main cast members were gay. In some cases, the storyline revolved around accusations that a cast member’s husband was gay. This would then infuriate the cast member. She would spend considerable time refuting the rumor.

Tamra and Eddie Judge
Tamra and Eddie Judge |Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

A 2017 Mic article discussed the homophobia that runs rampant throughout the franchise. The writer skillfully dissected each franchise along with instances of homophobia and transphobia from cast members.

Bravo issued a statement to Mic. “Bravo has a long history of celebrating the LGBTQ community and telling its stories in a positive light. The network takes pride in authentic storytelling, during which views are sometimes expressed by cast members that do not align with Bravo’s core values. We feel it’s often important to present these moments so they have the opportunity to be confronted and addressed with full transparency. It is through these discussions that we hope to create greater understanding, awareness and tolerance of our diverse world.”