She was the first woman (and therefore first lesbian) to be inducted into the prestigious French Academy.
Throughout her work, she presented being gay as a viable and honourable lifestyle. In an afterword to her monumental novel “Memoirs of Hadrian”, she pays tribute to her life companion & translator Grace Frick:
“Even the longest dedication is too short and too commonplace to honour a friendship so uncommon… in the entire life of some fortunate writers, there must have been someone who…bolsters our courage… approves, or sometimes disputes, our ideas … who shares with us, and with equal fervour, the joys of art and living…someone who is neither our shadow nor our reflection, nor even our complement, but simply himself (sic) someone who leaves us ideally free, but who nevertheless obliges us to be fully what we are.”
The above quote was read at my wedding for me by my best man, Jack.