Billie Lee

Vanderpump Rules Star Billie Lee Says Lala Kent Helped Her Deal With Suicidal Thoughts

Billie Lee came onto the scene as the first, and so far only, transgender member of the Vanderpump Rules gang. The past season was wrought with being drunk constant fighting and everyone forming teams. Billie found herself on the wrong side of Lala Kent, but she wasn’t alone. She also found herself going up against the Witches of WeHo, who generally operate on the “kick ’em while they’re down” policy.

But sometimes it can be more than your average alcoholic fighting. Viewers watched as drama stemmed from loss and heartache, and many craft cocktails. Billie found herself engaged in several arguments that took her back to a very dark place. Fortunately she found help through an unlikely source, and proves that maybe people do grow up after all.

Since Billie’s introduction on Pump Rules, she has been wide open about many issues. Never hiding from being transgender, it hasn’t been easy for the 34-year-old. On the show, she has close friendships with James Kennedy and girlfriend, Raquel Leviss. This did not endear her to anyone on the cast. James was the guy to hate if you wanted to hang out with the assholes cool kids. After an unfortunate encounter with Lala at Scheana Marie’s desperate attempt to be relevant housewarming party, she labeled Lala a bully. But much like Jax Taylor, things can change. In an interview with TooFab, Billie explains.

Lala and I are talking, we’re texting,” Billie said. “I have a deep love for her. It’s hard for us because we’re very similar because we like to attack, but she’s been through a lot, and I get it. And you know, they only show some of the negative parts of her, too. It’s how reality television is.”

After suffering the loss of her father, Lala was not shy about exposing her anger. Her friendship with Billie suffered as a result. That said, Billie admits, “Honestly, she was the one person that was really there for me.”

RELATED: James Kennedy, Raquel Leviss, And Billie Lee Are Reconnecting With Lala Kent

Billie continued, “I had some really dark times where I mentally had some issues where my mental health wasn’t there, and it brought me back to suicidal thoughts from when I was 16. It was just a really hard time to — I felt like I was in high school all over again. It was a lot of triggers,” she explained.

Another trigger was when Billie felt left out of Katie Maloney’s invite to plan her sad excuse Girls Night In extravaganza at SUR. Lala, Ariana Madix, Stassi Schroeder, Brittany Cartwright, Scheana, and Kristen Doute all managed to score participation points – but not Billie. She was working that night and went off on the “ladies”, accusing them of being anti-trans. While Katie explained this as an oversight, Billie countered by stating their “oversight was a perfect example of ‘cis privilege’.” Do I believe this was an actual “oversight”? No. I hate myself for defending Katie in any way, but do I believe Billie’s absence was due to her being transgender? Also, no. Katie is a lot of things, but touting her cis privilege isn’t one of them. Ugh, I feel dirty now.

RELATED: Billie Lee Rants About Lack Of Diversity On Vanderpump Rules

Navigating the emotions wasn’t easy for Billie, due to past experiences. She shared, “I was bullied a lot,” she said. “I had childhood depression because of it, so I missed a couple years of grade school. I was afraid to go to the bathroom because boys would pick on me, and all the graffiti on the bathroom walls were about me. It was really traumatizing.” After studying broadcast journalism in college, she found it difficult to find employment. “They [employers] were like, ‘You’re too feminine for a small town. There’s no way we can put you in front of the camera,'” she recalled. “I shaved my head and tried to act more like a boy, and once again, the suicidal thoughts came back.”

Lala isn’t the only one who came through to help Billie. Resident hero Tom Sandoval and Ariana also provided support when it was needed. “Her [Lala] and Ariana and Tom really stepped up, so I have a lot of love for her, and I think that we have a great relationship in the future.” Tom 1 is the literal definition of Golden Girl. Thank you for being a friend, Tom!

RELATED: Lisa Vanderpump Apologizes For Making Transphobic Joke Aimed At Erika Jayne; Lisa Rinna & Billie Lee Weigh In

As Lala continues her journey with sobriety, she is also making nice nice with James and Raquel. Jax and Brittany have started changing their tune as well. Hopefully the next season of Pump Rules finds Stassi and Katie other members of the cast taking the high road, but I seriously doubt it.


[Photo Credit: Bravo]