Why do LGBTQ+ people love Martha Stewart so much? Let’s count the (many, many) reasons

Marsha Stewart in front of a multicoloured floral display that, to be honest, we chose as it kind of looked like the colours of the trans flag.

Martha Stewart: American retail businesswoman, writer, television personality and, yes, gay icon.

Stewart has been a beacon of light in LGBTQ+ allyship over the years, and the 82-year-old is still going strong with Martha Stewart Living magazine. 

Sharing her world knowledge, she hosted Martha Stewart Living, which ran from 1993 to 2004, and The Martha Stewart Show, which ran from 2005 to 2012.

Known for her homely, cozy, traditional lifestyle advice, it may seem as though Stewart’s career wouldn’t intersect with the LGBTQ+ community… but you’d be very wrong.

All the while, she has resonated with the LGBTQ+ community for her welcoming personality, refined elegance and divaship.

Branded Mother, Stewart’s relationship goes deeper than just her appearances on Ellen and Ugly Betty

Stewart welcomed LGBTQ+ visibility

Reflecting on Stewart’s resonance, CNN details that Martha Stewart Living featured gay people living their lives in the 80s and 90s, their sexuality taking a back seat to their valuable skills and contributions to society.

Andrew Ritchie, founder of the lifestyle blog Martha Moments, explained: “It was so refreshing to see that kind of honest depiction: the owners of a bakery, the owner of a consignment shop, an expert on collecting vintage china. Basically, just people being people.”

“She’s a role model for us, and we certainly identify her as one of our greatest allies,” he added.

With queer people’s stories being shared in the pages of her magazine and on her show, Stewart was helping to normalise LGBTQ+ relationships to her viewers. 

For instance, in 2009, Martha Stewart Weddings – her online wedding magazine – shared pictures of a gay couple, Jeremy Hooper and Andrew Shulman, exchanging their vows on their wedding day.

This marked a relatively early example of a mainstream wedding publication spotlighting a same-sex ceremony.

Today, the wedding website has an entire ‘Love Is Love’ section that showcases the “best planning tips and etiquette advice for gay and lesbian weddings.”

Stewart defended same-sex marriage

A decade after showcasing same-sex weddings in her magazine, Stewart was asked about her thoughts on marriage equality in an interview with PrideSource in 2017.

“I believe in ‘all men are created equal’… and I don’t think any compromise is necessary,” she explained. 

“I think it’s absolutely a fact that all men are created equal, and so I just treated people like equals my entire life. Equals in every single way, no matter what their proclivity is or what their sexuality is, or their color or their race. It doesn’t matter to me.”

Furthermore, she noted that she’s attended a “lot” of LGBTQ+ weddings in her time.

“I’ve been to a lot! I mean, I have a lot of gay editors, both male and female. You know, every wedding is special to me,” she shared. 

“I don’t differentiate a gay wedding from a straight wedding. I just don’t differentiate.”

Stewart has a ‘gay son’

Kevin Sharkey and Martha Stewart attend the TMagazine event to celebrate the Salone Del Mobile 2022 at Villa Necchi Campiglio on June 06, 2022 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Pietro S. D’Aprano/Getty Images for TMagazine)

The gay icon also shared in the same interview that she has a “gay son.” Well… kind of.

Explaining that she and Alexis, her daughter, both have lots of gay friends, Stewart noted that her bestie is Kevin Sharkey. 

Sharkey is the executive vice president and executive director of design for the Martha Stewart brand.

“He’s also like the surrogate uncle to Alexis (and her family) and he lives in their same building,” Stewart noted. 

“I even introduce him playfully to friends as my gay son.”

Maybe, when you think about it, we’re all Stewart’s gay sons.

Stewart parties with “high-end gays

Curbed sent a reporter to a fabulous holiday party in 2022 and the result was far from disappointing.

Attending Chris Hessney and Simon Miall’s party, the scene is described as “very White Lotus” and Chris and Simon seemed like what Jennifer Coolidge’s character might call “high-end gays.”

Stewart’s presence is noted: “She won’t be staying for the actual party, but she did stop by to bless their home.”

“I find Martha upstairs, sampling caviar and snapping photos of the décor on her iPhone, which is on a long leather lanyard. At 81, she looks incredible in an ivory pussy-bow blouse with massive pearls dangling from her ears.”

Details go on to note that Stewart is allegedly cool with people lightening up “smoke cigs and weed in front of her” as she’s a “badass b***h.”

In short, this “badass b***h” has strongly situated herself as a gay icon and formidable LGBTQ+ ally: and that’s why we will always love her.

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