Holland Taylor Has a Girlfriend, Is Hopefully Writing Fabulous, Tortured Love Poems

Holland Taylor, an actress best known to the lesbian community as either Peggy Peabody in The L Word, Mrs. Petrie in D.E.B.S or Professor Stromwell in Legally Blonde, appeared on WYNC’s “Death, Sex and Money” podcast last week. In her interview with podcast host Anna Sale, Holland Taylor revealed that as she enters her eighth decade of life on this earth, she’s become increasingly interested in developing deeper and more meaningful relationships, including romantic ones. For example, the romantic relationship she is in right now WITH A WOMAN:

But now, at 72, Holland says that without that period of breakdown, she wouldn’t have been able to get where she is today—in her first-ever deeply committed relationship. “It’s the most wonderful extraordinary thing that could have ever possibly happened in my life,” she says. Holland didn’t want to discuss her partner’s identity in detail, nor did she want to turn her own sexuality into a political conversation (“I haven’t come out because I am out,” she says, adding, “I live out.”). But she did share that she’s with a younger woman—and that they’ve started to talk about marriage. “Given my generation it would not be something that would automatically occur to me,” Holland says, adding, “But as a symbol, as a pledge, as a plighting one’s troth, it would be a wonderful thing to do.”

ETA: Although Taylor declined to reveal the identity of her girlfriend, it has since been confirmed that the lucky lady is, indeed, out actress Sarah Paulson.

My reaction to this news can best be described as “shock” followed by “elation” followed by “shocked elation.”

This is how I feel about Holland Taylor being gay

This is how I feel about Holland Taylor being gay

Taylor is an enormously prolific actress who has been working in theater, film and television since the 1960’s. She got her start in theater, and in 1983 was declared by New York Magazine theatre critic John Simon as “one of the few utterly graceful, attractive, elegant and technically accomplished actresses in our theatre.” In 2013, she was nominated for a Best Actress Tony for her starring role in the solo show Ann, which she also wrote, about Texas governor Ann Richards.

More recently she’s become a household name for her role in the terrible television show Two and a Half Menand other memorable recurring roles include parts in The Powers That Be, Bosom Buddies and The Practice. Movie roles include Spy Kids 2, Baby Mama,The Truman Show, One Fine Day, Legally Blonde, To Die For and George of the Jungle.


Holland Taylor in “Legally Blonde”

In the podcast, Taylor says she’s always been a bit of a loner who thrived while working and felt lost when work was slow. She spoke about always financially supporting herself, and how horrified she felt many decades ago when her then-boyfriend suggested getting married — she never wanted to marry, having seen that particular arrangement work out so poorly for her own mother, whose husband was an alcoholic. “I knew I wanted to be very free agent, and travel, and not really be beholden to anyone,” she tells Sale.


Holland Taylor and Jennifer Beals in “The L Word”

She explains that now, at this stage in her life, she finally feels prepared to give a relationship the care it deserves, and that she finds the experience exciting, both emotionally and intellectually. Sale asks Taylor if she’s enticed by marriage, which is when Taylor reveals that her current relationship is with a woman, as an entry point to discussing the fact that same-sex marriage is a new concept for her generation. However, she tells Sale that if she were to get married, she would do so privately. She says that although most of her relationships have been with women, but she’s hesitated to speak about it because she’s “not political.”

Furthermore, it seems safe to say that her girlfriend got her a bunch of roses on Valentine’s Day:

Holland Taylor is currently appearing Off-Broadway in “Ripcord.” She’s also been spending a lot of time engaging in hijinks with aforementioned Sarah Paulson, if her twitter feed is any indication

Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor at the premiere for "Carol"

Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor at the premiere for “Carol,” via Facebook

In conclusion:



Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3197 articles for us.


  1. we all have feelings for our girlfriends, holland taylor. it doesn’t mean we have to act on them.

    jk jk jk jk this is amazing.

  2. Oh that picture of her with Sarah Paulson is adorable! SP makes me absolutely swoon. You go, Holland!!

  3. WHAT?! I love that we’re getting so many queer ladies :D and omg could Sarah Paulson be THE girlfriend?

  4. It’s been a long badly kept secret that she’s dating Sarah Paulson. I’m glad she’s come out, it’s really sweet :)

  5. I was so delighted when I heard that episode of DSM, which is an excellent show/podcast, btw. She says that she has never come out because she *lives* out, which was a lovely way to put it–but was also adorably shy :)

  6. She’s such a classic talent. This news definitely made me jump up and down in my seat a little bit :)

  7. Riese, why two and a half men under lined and comment a terrible show? not a terrible show it was good up till sheen left then went down hill. too bad you didn’t like it or don’t like it. so wrong that it’s under lined, one sided media at it’s best again. if you don’t like it just add to the paragraph you think it is a terrible show. geez

    • This comment is just too good. Mike, did you know I needed to be cheered up? Who are you? How did you get here? Why are you reading this article if you think two and a half men is a good show? I have so many questions, I love it.

    • “So wrong that it’s underlined”… is underlined because it’s a hyperlink to a review of the show. In which it details how bad a show it is.

    • you are wrong Charlie was an ass hole, and the show got better when he left. The women hating got old fast, and Evelyn, Bertha and Alan will as the best part of the show. Charlie always played himself in every tv show he was in, and that ain’t acting! He ended up being an drugged out whore!

    • wrong, and was a terrible show until Charlie left. the women hating got old early. walden and Alan were funny together. berta and evelyn and Judith I enjoyed. Sheen always played himself and that is not acting because he always played himself in anger management also. he was and is a stupid prick and the HIV he got was no surprise. Rose was the perfect person to torment Charlie. Payback is an angry bitch breaking into your house. good ole Rose!

  8. After reading through these comments, I decided to take a glance over on Holland Taylor and Sarah Paulson’s Twitter feed- and man, if that’s not dating, then I don’t know what is. Especially check out Sarah’s Twitter “likes”- the cutest!! ?

  9. It’s pretty disgusting that she is dating someone thirty years older than her. They are both of consenting age, but the age gap between them is disturbing.

    Shame on all of you who think their relationship is cute.

    • You said
      “Shame on all of you who think their relationship is cute”.

      There is no shame in this. So we don’t feel shame or guilt. In fact, we are EXCITED for them. BIG GAY SPARKLY EXCITEMENT. You could take your small shame party somewhere else and get it out of your system.

        • Yes, but you are attempting to shame folks for their opinion, which is, denigrating to those who share an opposing opinion to yours.

          I am not denigrating you. I disagree with your opinion, I disagree with your appraisal of their relationship being “predator and prey”. It might be love between them, and their intentions may or may not be fairly “honourable”. Maybe they want in to be in a relationship where one is older and one is younger. So what. If consent is there between them, then their consent for whatever it is that they are consenting to, overrides your charge of a lack of consent between them.

      • What I find unfortunate is that someone feels the need to be so negative. Life is fleeting. If you find happiness, enjoy it, embrace it, cherish it.

    • What do you actually object to here? I agree that huge age gaps can sometimes be concerning, even where all parties are above the age of consent (for example, a 20 year old and a 50 year old). Where one person is still a young adult and the other is much older and more experienced, there can be a significant power differential. However, Paulson is in her 40s – she’s been an adult for multiple decades, and if she wants to date a much older woman I really don’t see the problem.

    • margot you are being so rude and pointless. shame on you for taking up my time. i hope you have some good books to read or a hobby or something. lord have mercy. go find your life, darling. go find your purpose.

    • I expect that kind of opinion from hateful, homophobic, immature bigots.

      Guess you must fall into that category.

    • the heart wants what the hearts wants. what you and I feel is not important. If I was Holland I would thank my lucky stars to have a beautiful and funny younger woman desire me. Sarah goes for older women, and I am sure she put the moves on; Holland is her type. the heart wants what the heart desires. End of story

    • no it is not younger woman seem to find older lesbians attractive, and if you can find love with a younger woman hold tight. Holland has her PYT (pretty young thing)and all is right with the world.

  10. “It’s pretty disgusting that she is dating someone thirty years older than her”

    Wow dude. What doesn’t make it ok?

    And may I remind you that you’re in a community that is ridiculed for loving who they love? I think that’s called, ‘calling the kettle black…’

    You know, Margot, I hope you are cis-gendered and heterosexual (oh and preferably dating within your race…and able bodied) because in a lot of the world anything but, is profoundly disgusting.

    • If a 70-something year-old man were dating a man/female thirty years younger than him, the reactions to their relationship would involve a lot of head-shaking. On the flip side, if an old woman (let’s be honest: that’s what Holland Taylor is) were dating a man significantly younger than her, the comments would be similar, albeit some would be laced with misogyny.

      But since this is a F/F relationship, lesbians don’t bat an eye and the massive age difference instead becomes “cute” and “adorable,” and anyone who disagrees with the pairing automatically is denied an opposing opinion.

      Dating your mother’s/grandmother’s contemporary is disturbing, and perhaps such attractions stem from personal issues. Personally, relationships such as this remind me of a predator and prey scenario. A fifteen year gap is understandable, but a thirty year difference is questionable.

      • Thete definitely is a double standard. I’m sure if Holland was a man, people here wouldn’t hesitate to mention the age difference. They seem happy, so that’s what matters.

        • I don’t know if the original critical comment was a little too harsh… and so the retaliation was also harsh and defensive (knowing also that May-Sept dynamic is close to home for a number of editors!)

          BUT – I think its an interesting discussion to have about whether we have different standards for F/F relationships than M/F ones?
          Is it because gender alone is still percieved to create such a power imbalance that when a man is older too it compounds the imbalance and begins to feel icky? (Then often material wealth disparity is a factor too) Whereas two women are on a percieved level gender-power playing field so age difference isn’t seen as such a problem??

          Idk. This is coming from someone who lost their virginity at 18 with a sexy foreign businesswoman more than twice her age… so you do you Holland and Sarah!

          • Thank you for expanding upon my M/F comment; I noticed only one other person mentioned this discrepancy in his or her reply to me.

            There is certainly a double standard here. I wonder how some in these comments would react if Sarah were dating a 72 year-old man instead? Would the conversation have a shift in tone? Most likely. I can assure that their relationship would not be described as “adorable”; such tone change would have nothing to do with our sexuality, but rather, of that perceived “power imbalance” that you have mentioned. Societal discourse has taught us that if an older man dates a much younger woman, that man must be a pervert and a creep; in turn, the woman must be a gold digger. Now I fully understand that such extreme thinking is flawed, but, it always surprises me how the gay community reacts to couples like Sarah and Holland. The reactions are always unquestionable supportive, whereas straight couples are usually perceived with caution if they are in a similar situation.

      • While I agree that if Taylor were male, people would have lots of things to say. Some of those things, would be “good for him!”

        I find the idea that 15 years is acceptable, but 30 is not a little confusing. Where exactly is the line? 20 years? To me, the best way to figure out if there is some kind of inappropriate power differential is to look at the life and experiences of both parties. If they are similar, on similar levels, and seem to have an equal amount of power… Then the relationship is perfectly appropriate.

        When there IS clearly a power differential, it’s still not up to us. We might worry about it, show some concern for the younger person, and some judgement (yes, judgement) of the older person. But ultimately it is STILL a consensual relationship.

        I have a friend who is only attracted to men at least 30 years her senior. Many times, she’s been asked, and people have expressed concern, about some kind of “daddy issues” on her part, and predatory behavior on the men’s. But ultimately, when she’s tried to date closer to her age, she has been profoundly unhappy in those relationships. And it’s not up to me, or anyone else, who she dates. It’s up to her to make herself happy.

        It is beyond me, or anyone else, to make snap judgements based on something arbitrary like the age, of two people I don’t know. They both seem happy. As long as that is true, I am happy for them.

        • I respect your comment, and perhaps I am being a tad harsh and judgmental. To be quite frank, I worry about relationships with a severe age gap because I assume that their attraction to one another is a result of daddy/mommy issues, or other personal matters.

          But I am individual who attempts to not be confined by one mode of thinking. Upon reading several of the replies directed towards my comment, I will refrain from quick judgement and, instead, observe more tolerance.

          • I really don’t see where you see a connection to mommy and daddy issues.To me, this kind of explantion seems similar to ones that would attribute being lesbian to the fact that you had too many women or too many men around in your childhood.
            And what would happen according to this kind of model, if people have/had issues with their siblings or peers at school? Would they look for someone of their age? I think as long as you don’t date your own mother, father, grandmother, brother or sister, the age of your partner is not relevant. Also, it depends on the specific person’s character on what ‘role’ they will take in a relationship. Someone who is not indepedent and can not take their own desicisions (maybe because of overprotective parents) would probably choose a partner (and friends) that likes to have the lead, no matter if the partner is younger or older than them.

      • I think it’s important that this ISN’T a m/f relationship. Saying “this wouldn’t be okay if it was a Hetero couple” isn’t really relevant because … It isn’t a Hetero couple. It is two women. It is a different power dynamic, full stop. Sarah’s ex was 20 years older than her, too — it’s obviously just what she prefers. We’ve written extensively on this site about the prevalence of May/December relationships amongst lesbians, it is a lot more common for a lot of reasons.

        These are two successful, financially stable, established women who know who they are and what they want, sometimes age is just a number.

      • Margot, I want to talk about how you engage people in a debate. Your words were highly judgmental and accusatory – you actually said “shame on you” to all those who didn’t see eye to eye with you. It’s baffling how someone who condemns others in this way can expect to be pampered in return, and yet as soon as your comment was met with equally harsh criticism, you hid behind the cliche of agreeing to disagree – when this was exactly what you denied those who approved of the relationship. Your original comment was anything but tolerant and amicable, yet you seem to expect just this in return. I think you’ll find that this is not how conversations function.

        Overall you come across as an immature debater incapable of handling criticism after having dished it out quite liberally. In fact, your inability to tolerate disagreement is such that criticism prompts you into responding: “anyone who disagrees with the pairing automatically is denied an opposing opinion”. Was your comment deleted? Were you banned from Autostraddle? Nobody is denying you the right to an opposing opinion; they’re merely denying you the right to agree with you, which, as I’m sure you’re able to gather by this point, is not a right at all.

        I think you’ll find that debates are far more constructive when you don’t attack those of a different opinion from yours from the get-go.

  11. Yay! I love Holland Taylor. She looks so much like um Julie Andrews except she is not… Holland is arch, ascerbic and satiric.

  12. I’ve spent a while trying to think of something witty to say but words fail me!

    It’s so exciting that so many talented and accomplished women are being revealed to play for our team!

  13. Well I think it’s a bit awkward when people go all “I don’t need to come out I live out, I deliberately never mention my multiple long term female partners and disguise our relationship when we’re in public together, I’m just so out” but good for her.

  14. I recently realized that I had to confront some societal conditioning that I had around May-December romances. Honestly, I often don’t look twice when I see an older man with a younger woman (I might question their motives or roll my eyes, but I don’t really think about or police their attraction/sex life in my mind, because it seems common and “normal.”)

    But then I met some friends-of-friends, a lesbian couple where one woman was about eighty and her partner was maybe fifty-five or sixty, and it really was unsettling to me. It wasn’t even about age, it was about appearance — one looked like my grandmother, with a cap of white hair, and one looked more like the age of my aunt. And I couldn’t stop thinking how strange it seemed. Sarah Paulson and Hollande Taylor might be more unsettling to me if Hollande had stopped coloring her hair, or had, I dunno, the cheekbones of a mere mortal. But why? What’s my problem? As Reise notes above, it’s not a power-differential thing. So what is it?

    I think one of the issues is that our society is really uncomfortable with the sexuality of aging women, in a way that we are not with men. Sure, “cougars” are acceptable, as long as they look like Jane Seymour (read: as young-looking as physically possible). But if you have white hair, or look like you might be into baking cookies for your grandkids, forget it. (Just look at the age of actresses who play the mothers of teenagers on TV, always young enough that their character’s sexuality won’t seem as gross – Constance Wu from Fresh Off the Boat is like 30. Ageism for women is just real in a way that it isn’t for men, and that can color our perspectives even when we wish it didn’t.)

    I’m definitely not at my most succinct today. Bottom line is, at the very least, it is not our job to police the sexuality of consenting adults in relationships without an obvious power differential — and when we want to do so, we must question that instinct, because it may be a result of our patriarchal conditioning.

    And the other bottom line is those two are adorable together. <3 to them.

  15. She used to be a customer of my former employer. I met her several times, always very polite, straight to the point lady. No complaints.
    Faye Dunaway on the other hand… Oy…

  16. Holland purposefully chose not to name her partner. Her partner has also refused to name her in multiple interviews. Why would you? When it’s something that they obviously don’t want publicized? You do realize that you are contributing to sensationalizing a relationship that they did not consent to announce? This is exploitative and not at all what I expect from Autostraddle.

    • their relationship is all over the web. after it appeared we see them holding hands on dates. They have come out as a couple

      • They came out as a couple because they were outed by articles like the above. Not the other way around.

Comments are closed.