She wore the pants in Hollywood
By Christina Schultz
It might sound like the stuff of fiction, but it’s all true. How, you might ask?
All these factors seemed to have been a formula for her success in Hollywood, as well as with the gay and lesbian community. Her strong, independent personality arguably makes her a good fit as a feminist icon as well. We can only recommend you watch some of her films and see what you think.
We also highly suggest you read “Today in Gay History: The Inimitable Barbara Stanwyck” by Andrew Belonsky for Out magazine for more information about the late, great Barbara Stanwyck, one of Hollywood's greatest stars and suspected lesbian.
Selected filmography (click titles for selected clips or trailers):
Stella Dallas (King Vidor, 1937)
Ball of Fire (Howard Hawks, 1941)
Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944)
Sorry, Wrong Number (Anatole Litvak, 1948)
Walk on the Wild Side (Edward Dmytryk, 1962; a film with heavy lesbian undertones)
Roustabout (John Rich, 1964; with Elvis Presley!)
Special thanks to Felicia Carparelli for providing me with information for this piece and to filmmaker Emma Seligman who reminded me that Barbara Stanwyck was (most likely) a closeted lesbian. My interview with Emma will be published this Friday, July 20! Come back to read what Emma has to say about sex, the Jewish culture, her work as a filmmaker and, of course, Barbara Stanwyck 😊
 For those unfamiliar with the term, a “lavender marriage” refers to a “male-female marriage,” also known as a “mixed-orientation marriage,” a type of marriage of convenience, “in which one or both of the partners is homosexual, pansexual or bisexual.” The main reason several Hollywood celebrities in the golden era of Hollywood entered into lavender marriages was to hide their homosexuality because it was not accepted. One of the earliest uses of the phrase appeared in the British press in 1895, at a time when lavender was associated with homosexuality.