LGBTQ+ Faces in Literature: Evelyn Hugo

by Amy Green.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo explores the life of a bisexual actor in the golden age of Hollywood. Evelyn, an effortlessly seductive actor, finds herself using her assets to leverage herself out of poverty. Being thrust into stardom in the 1950s, she quickly finds herself a male suiter and fell hard. The intricacies of her life and 7 marriages are explored by journalist Monique through a series of interviews in the present day. Throughout the majority of her public marriages, Evelyn has been in a secret relationship with a fellow actress, Celia. Celia is a lesbian and Evelyn identifies as bisexual, and through this dynamic, we explore biphobia in the past and present, closeted and out relationships. Monique is quick to label Evelyn as a sexuality she is not. Biphobia is still prevalent in all aspects of today’s media, even within the LGBTQ+ community. The stigma behind those with more fluid sexualities is rooted in an association of promiscuity. For example, the villainising of HIV Aids patients because of a ‘gay lifestyle’ perpetuated the opinion that non-heterosexual relationships are casual, when studies were done on very limited groups of gay and bisexual men. Limiting the insight into LGBTQ+ relationships in Evelyn’s life through Monique highlights how present biphobia still is. And yet Evelyn has become an icon in bisexual communities as we see the dimensions to her sexuality.