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8 Times Chelsea Handler Was An Honorary Lesbian (This Is for You Barbara Walters)

8 Times Chelsea Handler Was An Honorary Lesbian (This Is for You Barbara Walters)

8 Times Chelsea Handler Was An Honorary Lesbian (This Is for You Barbara Walters)


This week, the venerable Barbara Walters decided to awkwardly ask late night comedienne Chelsea Handler if she is into women. And I'll take this opportunity right off the bat to re-confirm that Chelsea is not, in fact, a lesbian. But people certainly seem to think she is, and I can think of many lesbians (including myself) who wish she were part of the club. When my mom called me last night to catch up, the first thing out of her mouth was: "Your father and I were just watching—what's her name?—Chelsea Lately. She's a lesbian isn't she?" Aside from the fact that my mom thinks her last name is actually "Lately" clearly the gay vibes have not been lost on her. I find this amusing because there is no doubt in my mind that Chelsea is as straight as she claims to be (I mean she wrote an entire book about her hetero-sex-capades, c'mon). Honestly, I am glad that she is straight because she's completely changing the game about what straight women are supposed to act like, and undermining the bullshit rules of propriety that have been forced upon them for so long. Chelsea clearly finds all the gay rumors as amusing as I do, and has started to roll out some pretty fantastic tongue-in-cheek stunts and statements that have a definite Sapphic edge to them—no wonder my baby boomer mother is confused. So, even though she's not in the club, I thought I'd point out 8 times that Handler was almost a lesbian.

1. She has two lesbian roommates, which is 75% of dating a woman anyway.

I am still kicking myself for that time a few years ago when this gay guy who was close with Handler invited my then-girlfriend and I to her show, saying "Oh my god Chelsea LOVES lesbians, you two definitely need to meet her." I don't remember what happened, but something came up and we had to miss it, but I always wonder what would have transpired—maybe we would be part of her lesbian posse instead of these two ladies (though they seem awesome). In her Uganda Be Kidding Me stand up segment, she jokes about how her roommate insists that every woman that Chelsea brings to the house is gay (and lezbehonest, it is something we tend to assume). On the topic of boyfriends, she has this to say:

"I love men. I’m not opposed to having a boyfriend, but I’m away a lot, so it’s really hard to find the time. When I go home, I like to hang out with my brother and the lesbians."

I wonder how many tubs of hummus and bags of dog food they have in the house. My guess is a lot.

2.Nude shower scenes w Sandra and Ellen

For the finale of her late-night show, Chelsea filmed some pretty memorable shower scenes with Sandra Bullock and Ellen Degeneres (Sandra at least got naked too). It's pretty gay, see for yourself:

She has none of the straight girl life plans.

Like many lesbians, Chelsea is not on a husband-baby-and-mortgage train:

"I’m not a typical girl in the sense that I’m dying to get married or dying to procreate. I don’t really have those desires. I respect them, but I do feel like more of a guy in that way. And I don’t like to be tied down to one person. I don’t like long-term commitments. But I like the “crusade of a girl,” because I like what it says about women. I like to be able to do things my way and create a new path for myself that’s not based on what anybody else did before me."

Frankly, I am glad that a straight woman is rejecting all the supposed life-markers that society dictates all women must adhere to. About time!

And not only is she not planning to revolve her life around a guy or a marriage, she is determined to forge her own path. She told Barbara Walters that she would never go for a network late night hosting gig (should Letterman leave, for example) because that's just not who she is: "I don't like rules, I don't follow them." And networks, those so-called bastions of American wholesomeness, are not a place for rule-breakers.

4. She's obsessed with her dogs.

I know that people think lesbians and cats are as time-honored as gay men and showtunes, but there are a whole lotta lesbians out there who just cannot do without their canine companions. Chelsea even flew out Chunk and Jax to Canada when she realized that they didn't need to be quarantined and could come along to Whistler on the family vacation. Name a lesbian dog lover you know who, if she struck it rich, wouldn't do exactly the same thing.

5. Her bathroom humor.

Chelsea makes no bones about her bodily functions—most recently the story of her getting epic food poisoning, post-Africa while wading around in the early morning surf in the Bahamas sticks in my mind. I'm not saying straight women can't joke about this stuff—and they do—but there is something about actually dating a woman where all the so-called propriety that you're supposed to fake in a relationship with a guy goes out the window. I have a straight girl friend who has been dating the same guy for like 7 years and never pooped around him once. Not. Once. I feel like lesbians sort of toss that rule out after about date #15 if things are going well. It's just not worth the stress or the discomfort. And telling these stories can be a weird sort of bonding moment. Plus, if you travel together, that shit will make itself known, literally.

6. She isn't overly body-conscious and loves being naked.

Springboarding off the nude shower scenes skits (and her remarkable Instagram response to Kim K's ass photo). Chelsea simply could care less when it comes to baring it all. I wouldn't say that body confidence is inherently a lesbian trait, but the sad truth is that it seems straight women are under more pressure than lady-loving-ladies when it comes to staying ultra thin and living up to whatever so-called male standard of female beauty the fashion magazines (and not even actual men) have managed to create. In any case, she's promoting a positive and healthy approach to body image and we can all get behind that. Plus, have you seen her boobs?

7. She talks publicly and shamelessly about her sex life.

I'll never forget when one of my straight best friends called me up in a near-panic because she had suddenly (and inexplicably) come to the conclusion that her "number" (i.e. sex partners) was far too high for a woman of her age and caliber. I asked her in the politest way I could what the fuck she was talking about. I asked what was making her so worried about what new boyfriends or other people would think of her if they found out the total, but all she could really say was "I don't know, I just think it's too high." According to who? First of all, she doesn't have to share that information with anyone, and if she does, she should be allowed to happily own her experiences and not feel pressured to be ashamed of her sexuality and exploration. Chelsea not only wrote a book detailing the hilarity of her one-night stands, but she has absolutely no problem speaking opening about her active sex life, relationship or not, and thus implicitly challenging anyone who would dare judge her for being exactly who she is. Lesbians will go on about their sexual conquests and experiences without the same slut-shaming fear that straight girls deal with--as women who sleep with women we are sort of inherently protected from the whore label. Luckily Chelsea and others are paving the way for women to all chill out, realize they, too, can have desire and act on it, it doesn't say anything negative about them, and that's nothing to hide. And finally...

8. She would fit in wonderfully at any major lesbian event.

Chelsea likes to drink, party, be naked, be naked around other naked women, make an ass of herself, show off her boobs, swear a lot, and roll around with an entourage of crazy friends. If that doesn't have Dinah Shore written all over it, I don't know what does.

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