Julie Cypher is best known as the former partner of Melissa Etheridge.
Cypher attended the University of Texas at Arlington. She married actor Lou Diamond Phillips in 1986. In 1988, Cypher met Etheridge while assisting on the music video for the song, "Bring Me Some Water" and split with Phillips in 1990 to embark on a relationship with Etheridge.
In 1995 she directed Teresa's Tattoo. The film stars C. Thomas Howell, Lou Diamond Phillips, Melissa Etheridge, k.d. lang, and Kiefer Sutherland.
Famous for being one half of one of the first publicly lesbian celebrity couples, Cypher advocated for gay rights. In 1995 she and Etheridge appeared in a "We'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" poster campaign for PETA. During her partnership with Melissa Etheridge, she gave birth to two children, a daughter, Bailey Jean, born in February 1997, and a son, Beckett, born November 1998. Although initially reluctant to discuss it, the couple eventually revealed that the father of both children was friend and rock musician David Crosby. In September 2000, she and Etheridge separated.
Cypher has an older sister, Melanie. She is the younger of the two daughters of Dick and Betty Cypher.