Zoe Lister-Jones Is Queer, Hard Launches Relationship With Fellow Sapphic Filmmaker Sammi Cohen

“I’m here, I’m queer, I have some fear but I’m working through it,” Zoe Lister-Jones told The Hollywood Reporter after showing up at the Independent Spirit Awards over the weekend with a fresh date: queer and nonbinary director Sammi Cohen!

There’s a new sapphic filmmaker power couple in town, it seems! Lister-Jones confirmed her relationship with Cohen, who most recently directed You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah and also directed queer teen rom-com Crush. Lister-Jones most recently created and starred in the queer sci-fi comedy series Slip, which was nominated for two Spirit Awards. Anyone who watched Slip…will not be particularly surprised by this coming out news!

feature image photo by JC Olivera/GA / Contributor

The Spirit Awards have gender neutral acting categories, and Lister-Jones spoke about why she thinks other awards ceremonies should follow suit: “I’m so grateful to Film Independent for really being pioneers in that area,” she told THR. “All award shows should follow in their footsteps and make categories genderless. I’m dating a nonbinary person. I’m friends with so many nonbinary people. And I think that without really shifting the paradigm in a larger way, it’s closing a lot of doors for really important voices.”

Apparently, Lister-Jones dropped some queer breadcrumbs back in July on Instagram:

Not exactly a subtle hint! She basically said:

The I'm dropping hints meme: I'm like dropping hints that I'm QUEER. I'm [screenshot of Zoe Lister-Jones saying queer ultimatum #happypride)

Lister-Jones was previously married to filmmaker Daryl Wein, who she was with for 17 years before filing for divorce in 2022. She starred in a bevy of television series through the years, including Life in Pieces, Whitney, and New Girl. Her turn on New Girl as bit character Fawn Moscato is hands down one of my favorite underrated sitcom performances of recent years, and I have decided the character is retroactively canonically queer now (Frankly it makes sense, she had a very dykey energy about zoning laws,” says Christina Tucker, so yes, this is indeed officially canon). Recently, she has been writing and directing her own projects, including The Craft: Legacy and How it Ends.

On that note, she also opened up about some of the challenges of being a filmmaker in Hollywood today: “It’s always liberating in that I can create my own work, which is exciting,” she told THR. “[But] it’s requiring a different grind and hustle right now that even for those of us who have been making micro budget independent things forever, it does feel like we got to step up the game even more to break through.”

Relatable icon! It’s hard out here for queer artists!

Now I’m hoping for a dreamy power couple collab project by Lister-Jones and Cohen, because between that and the Kristen Stewart x Dylan Meyer co-written lesbian stoner comedy, the cinema sapphics will be WELL FED.

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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 871 articles for us.


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