Youtube.com/Roseanne Barr
Youtube.com/Roseanne Barr

Drag Queen Billi Gordon Was Married to a Man for 30 Years Who 'Accepted Him for All He Is'

Monica Otayza
Oct 18, 2021
11:00 A.M.

Billi Gordon went from being a drag queen to getting a doctorate in neuroscience. Through it all, he was married to a man who loved him for who he was. Here's everything you need to know about their story.


In the 1980s, same-sex marriage was not yet widely accepted in America. However, for Billi Gordon, true love prevailed, and he made sure to tie the knot with the love of his life.

From when they decided to wed up until his death in 2018, Gordon's spouse stuck by him through it all. They made the perfect team and supported each other in all their engagements.


Gordon was born Wilbert Anthony Gordon Jr. in Dowagiac, Michigan, on September 2, 1954. According to his LinkedIn profile, he grew up "dirt poor" across the city dump.

Although he wasn't religious, he entered a Roman Catholic monastery. While he was there, he was told he had a calling, but it wasn't at the monastery, nor was it religious. However, it would be "righteous."



Thanks to this advice, he decided to leave and study at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. By the mid-1970s, however, he decided to quit school and moved to Los Angeles.

While making ends meet in LA, his weight fluctuated from 300 pounds to nearly 1000 pounds. He worked as an escort, a model, and was a print model for numerous humorous greeting cards.



He appeared in several movies such as "The Party Animal" and "Coming to America" and shows like "Women in Prison" and "Married... With Children." In 2013, he also aired a documentary about his life titled "Billi."

Throughout his career, Gordon was known as a drag queen. The greeting cards he made showed a voluptuous black woman; his roles had him playing a woman, and so did his Japanese commercials and European print billboards.


Aside from his career in the entertainment industry, he was also an author of serval books. He wrote the cookbook "You've Had Worse Things In Your Mouth."


However, it was more than just a cookbook as he touched on racial stereotypes and middle-class culture. On the cover of his cookbook, he is seen appearing in drag.



By the mid-1990s, he decided to return to the University of Michigan. By 1997, he graduated and got a degree before choosing to study again.

After a successful career in the entertainment industry, he later earned a doctorate in neuroscience. He studied obesity-related diseases and investigated the pathophysiology of stress as an antecedent to disease.



While Gordon had a colorful career, his life was also riddled with health issues. In 2009, he stood over 6 feet tall and weighed 701 pounds.

For most of Gordon's life, he paid no attention to his large size, as he used it to entertain others before pursuing a different career in neuroscience. This brought about consequences that his body refused him to forget.



By 2009, a large mass had been growing in his upper right thigh for several years. It ended up spreading between his legs, nearly reaching his feet.

The same way he could not control his weight, the things he could do narrowed down as well. He could not fit into his red Mustang convertible, and the only street clothes that fit him were scrubs.

Billi Gordon arranges all the medicines that he takes daily, some twice a day on October 8, 2009 | Source: Getty Images

Billi Gordon arranges all the medicines that he takes daily, some twice a day on October 8, 2009 | Source: Getty Images


Even weight-loss surgery could not help Gordon, as he was too heavy for it. At one point, his knees buckled, causing him to fall to the floor due to the weight of the mass growing on his leg.


After realizing he needed to take action as no MRI machine could hold his weight to determine what was wrong, he put himself on a strict diet. He decided to only take in 1800 calories a day, a mostly liquid protein diet.


Speaking about the difficult time in his life, he admitted that he was grateful that he had the growth on his leg. This was why:

"Because it has taught me humility, and it’s taught me gratitude for things I otherwise took for granted – sitting in my car or walking down the street.”

Billi Gordon cries with happiness after weighing himself and finding out that he weighs below the maximum weight that the human imaging machines can withstand on October 8, 2009 | Source: Getty Images

Billi Gordon cries with happiness after weighing himself and finding out that he weighs below the maximum weight that the human imaging machines can withstand on October 8, 2009 | Source: Getty Images



Throughout his life, there was one person who stuck by him through it all: his husband. Not a lot is known about his husband, who decided to live life privately.

While taking care of Gordon, he admitted that he did not expect him to get thinner, just lighter. He once opened up about his greatest hope for his husband, which was "to lose weight that would free him."



His husband also admitted that Gordon could not go to places he needed and wanted to go because of his condition. Instead, his life consisted of television, computers, and a room.

The pair got married in 1988 and stayed married until Gordon's death. The actor once revealed that in "Gay marriage years," the time they'd been married could easily be over 500 years.



Following his prolonged illness and several setbacks, Gordon passed away at age 63 in 2018. A fundraiser was put up for his funeral, as his family admitted that his health issues put a drain on their savings.

People from all walks of life paid tribute to Gordon's life, including his colleagues in the neuroscience industry. In the book "The Upward Spiral," Alex Korb wrote that Gordon was the "most interesting person" he had ever met.

He noted how life carried him from poverty to being a drag queen to neuroscience, across genders, and beyond challenges that many will never have to face. In the end, he shared that Gordon's spirit would be with him always.

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy

The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, and images contained on news.AmoMama.com, or available through news.AmoMama.com is for general information purposes only. news.AmoMama.com does not take responsibility for any action taken as a result of reading this article. Before undertaking any course of treatment please consult with your healthcare provider.

Related posts

Michael Douglas & Kathleen Turner Had ‘Real’ Chemistry Then His Ex Came to One Shoot & Stepped In

November 27, 2023

Camila Redesigned Diana's $129K Jewelry Wedding Gift That She Had Worn Close to Her Heart, Reports Said

February 08, 2024

William Edward Richmond Was Once Isabel Sanford's Husband

November 15, 2023

Huge Star Marries This Man in Smoky Hotel Room – He Flies Miles to Her on a Stolen Plane after Learning She Was Hurt

March 05, 2024

Sitcom Legend Wed This Man Who Was Her School Crush – Years Later He Came Out as Gay

March 05, 2024

Camilla 'Resented Being Eclipsed' by Kate & Looked Down Her Nose at the Middletons, Book Claims

January 19, 2024

Marisela Vallejos Felix Lost Both Her Husband Chalino Sanchez & Their Son

November 17, 2023

Stella Luchetta Was Ellen Corby’s Friend of More than 4 Decades Who Lived with Her

December 15, 2023

Harry Chose Not to Stay in the Same Room with Camilla While Visiting Ailing Dad — Inside Their Relationship

February 15, 2024

Adris DeBarge Is Married to an Actor - Facts about El DeBarge's Daughter

November 25, 2023

Akon on Having Mulitple Wives: The Singer Once Explained Why He Thinks It Is 'Easier'

November 27, 2023

This Lady Was a Hollywood Star Known for 'Eight Is Enough' & 'Happy Days' Alongside Ron Howard

November 09, 2023

David Soul's Ex & 'Starsky & Hutch' Co-Star, Lynne Marta, Dies 7 Days after Him – Details

January 17, 2024

Frances Swaggart Is Televangelist Jimmy Swaggart's Wife For Over 70 Years

November 17, 2023