Is Katie Maloney in Her Bisexual Era or Just Wearing Cargo Pants?

Vanderpump Rules returned this week for all the unwell Bravo Dykes in the house (me), hot on the heels of the Scandoval saga that shook up last season and ready to deal with its tumultuous aftermath for the friend group of self-obsessed former restaurant workers at the center of the series I’ve somehow been watching for a DECADE of my life. There were many debuts in the season 11 premiere: Bisexual castmember Ariana Madix debuted her new boyfriend Dan. Tom Schwartz debuted an unfortunate Bill Clinton impression. Scheana Shay debuted a new mental health diagnosis. And Katie Maloney debuted a very bisexual new haircut and look.

There have been whispers and rumors on the blogs, as we say in the Bravosphere (and which really means IG and TikTok accounts and not actual blogs anymore), as well as in my various queer Bravo group chats about Katie Maloney’s possible bisexuality. A trailer for the season hints at a possible love — or, at least, makeout — triangle between her and her ex husband with a new, unidentified girl. I hope the trailer isn’t teasing with that or exaggerating, because a bisexual love triangle is exactly what I want to see on this show. And apparently Katie’s main look in the premiere raised some lesbian eyebrows.

Sporting black cargo pants, her new short, slicked back, almost Corky-like haircut, and what I initially thought was a harness situation (gay) but was actually a mesh shrug (wow, still gay), Katie rolled up to the episode’s main event arm-in-arm with her bisexual bestie Ariana. Apparently, this led to a lot of viewers Googling “is Katie Maloney a lesbian” (no, really, it was a trending search following the episode!), and wow, apparently all you have to do to flag as queer is cut your hair and wear cargo pants (okay…where is the lie).

Katie and Ariana walking on a sidewalk in Vanderpump Rules season 11 premiere

Tiny purse sling over the mesh sleeve really contributes to the bisexual vibes if you ask me.

Update: In the April 9 episode of Vanderpump Rules’ current season, Katie indeed makes out with a girl and comes out as some flavor of queer, opting out of specific labels. You can read all about the episode and how Katie describes her sexuality in our recap of the episode.

Cargo pants aside, this episode itself was entertaining if inconsequential. Scheana and Lala are both chomping at the bit to make Scandoval somehow about them. Lisa Vanderpump is essentially the walking embodiment of mother is mothering. Ariana’s still in the phase immediately after getting cheated on where she’s a little too hostile toward anyone connected to her ex. The premiere also really begs the question: Does Sandoval even need to be here?

I used to consider watching this series my annual anthropological study of heterosexuals, and while that’s still sometimes the case for many of its storylines, it would indeed be delightful for Ariana to no longer be holding it down solo for the bisexuals. I would love to be able to call Ariana and Katie’s work-in-progress sandwich shop — inexplicably named Something About Her — THEE Bisexual Sandwich Shop of Los Angeles. As self-appointed president of the Bravo Dykes, I will be tracking these developments closely.

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 868 articles for us.


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