Is Lori Petty Gay? What We Know About the OITNB Star

You may recognize Lori Petty from her iconic roles in movies like Tank GirlFree WillyA League of Their Own, and Point Break. Or perhaps you know her best as Lolly Whitehill, the quirky inmate on the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Whatever role comes to mind when you hear her name, there’s no denying that Lori Petty has made her mark in Hollywood.

Here’s a quick answer:

Despite rumors about her sexuality over the years stemming from her androgynous style, LGBTQ film roles, and being private about her love life, actress Lori Petty identifies as straight. Though she’s been cryptic amid speculation, Petty has not openly identified as gay or bisexual publicly. The Hollywood star prefers keeping fans guessing and has not addressed chatter about her sexual orientation directly.

A Talented Trailblazer

Over the course of her decades-long career, Petty has captivated audiences with her raw talent and memorable performances. She’s brought to life strong female characters that challenge gender stereotypes. In fact, some of her most famous roles have been in what are considered landmark LGBTQ films.

For example, A League of Their Own explores themes of sexuality and gender dynamics in the context of a 1940s women’s professional baseball league. And on Orange is the New Black, her character Lolly deals with mental illness while finding solace in a lesbian relationship.

So with these kinds of progressive, boundary-pushing roles under her belt, it’s no wonder that fans have wondered about Lori Petty’s own sexuality.

Rumors and Speculation

Almost from the start, there’s been speculation that the actress might be gay herself. Her short hair and androgynous style fuel assumptions about her sexual orientation. The roles she chooses to play also lead some fans to make conclusions about her personal life.

In the 90s, Petty dated actor David Alan Grier but they eventually broke up so she could concentrate on her soaring career. For a time, rumors linked her to Gregory Hines and even Keanu Reeves though she asserted they were just friends.

Being single and rarely opening up about her dating life only seem to add intrigue for those seeking answers about who she might be romantically involved with.

MovieYearLGBTQ Themes
A League of Their Own1992Lesbian relationships
Free Willy1993Friendship, family
Tank Girl1995Female empowerment
Orange is the New Black2013-2019Lesbian relationships, gender identity

Her enviable chemistry with female costars also fans the flames of speculation about her personal preferences.

The Truth About Lori

The burning question remains…is Lori Petty gay?

Despite ambiguous hints through the years, the answer is no. Lori Petty identifies as straight.

The Hollywood veteran maintains a top level of privacy when it comes to her dating life. Preferring to live as low-key as possible, she refrains from addressing rumors about her sexuality.

Sure, you can analyze some subtle hints that might hint at a queer sexual orientation. But the fact is, only Lori herself knows the absolute truth. And she chooses not to label or define herself either way.

An Iconic Legacy

Now in her late 50s, unmarried, and with no children, fans are as curious as ever about the star’s elusive love life.

But Lori Petty prefers to let her groundbreaking acting do the talking. Having paved the way for strong female characters for 30+ years, her mark on Hollywood speaks for itself.

She’s proven her versatility across TV and film, excelling in both comedic and dramatic roles. Not limiting herself to acting, she’s also written, directed and produced several projects.

So at the end of the day, her extensive contributions as an artistic tour de force may just be louder than any tabloid gossip about her personal affairs. This Hollywood icon has undoubtedly earned the right to as much privacy as she wants regarding who she loves.

A Private Star

Never confirming or denying rumors about her sexual preferences, Lori Petty keeps fans guessing. But she seems perfectly content without addressing the chatter.

Outside of acting, not much is known about her life today in Venice Beach, California other than her passion for surfing. Attempting to uncover Lori Petty’s romantic secrets has become something of a pastime among industry watchers.

But Lori herself doesn’t pay attention to hearsay or headlines about her personal life. She stays focused on her craft, letting conjectures swirl without confirmation.

So while the actress chooses not to disclose her sexuality to the public, her extraordinary body of work makes that just a minor footnote for this trailblazing Hollywood star.


1. Is Lori Petty openly gay?

No, Lori Petty has not publicly come out as gay. She identifies as straight as far as is publicly known.

2. What female celebrities has Lori Petty been rumored to have dated?

Some of the women Lori Petty has been rumored to have dated over the years include Gregory Hines, Keanu Reeves, and her A League of Their Own co-star Rosie O’Donnell, though none of these have been confirmed.

3. Why do people think Lori Petty is gay?

Factors fueling rumors about Lori Petty’s sexuality over the years have included her short hair and androgynous style, her roles in LGBTQ-themed films like A League of Their Own, and her chemistry with female co-stars. She has also generally been very private about her dating life.

4. Has Lori Petty discussed her sexuality publicly?

No, Lori has not directly addressed rumors or questions about her sexuality to confirm or deny whether she identifies as straight, gay, bisexual or otherwise. She prefers keeping her personal life private.

5. Does Lori Petty have a partner?

As someone who closely guards details about her personal life, it is not publicly known if Lori Petty currently has a partner. The actress has chosen not to comment on or clarify her romantic status or situation over the years.

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