Will Ruby Rose Help People Understand Gender Fluidity?

All this week, we at Queereka have been reviewing the new season of Orange is the New Black. I, unfortunately, haven’t contributed because 1). I’m really busy with work and school, so I don’t have much time for binge watching right now, and 2). I’ve only seen the first three episodes of the first season so far. When I get some time to myself, though, I’ll have to play catch-up because all my friends say OITNB is one of those shows that starts off slow, but then picks up steam. Also, because of Ruby Rose.

Rose, who plays Stella Carlin in season 3, recently gave an interview to Elle magazine where she explained her gender fluid identity. She says:

Gender fluidity is not really feeling like you’re at one end of the spectrum or the other. For the most part, I definitely don’t identify as any gender. I’m not a guy; I don’t really feel like a woman, but obviously I was born one. So, I’m somewhere in the middle, which – in my perfect imagination – is like having the best of both sexes. I have a lot of characteristics that would normally be present in a guy and then less that would be present in a woman. But then sometimes I’ll put on a skirt – like today.

And all of us genderqueer/gender fluid/non-binary folks respond, “YAAASSSSSS!!!!!!”

As I’ve written before here on Queereka, it’s hard for people to understand being non-binary when you live in a binarist world. With Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, and Janet Mock in the spotlight (and rightly show), mainstream America is becoming more understanding of what it means to be either a FTM or an MTF transgender person.* But what if you don’t identify as either a boy or a girl? What if you identify as somewhere in between? Or with no gender at all?

I’m lucky enough to be open with my co-workers about being genderqueer. They’re all happy that I’m finally comfortable in my own skin, but I can tell some still don’t quite get it. I can tell some of my co-workers just think I’m a really femme guy.

But maybe things are slowly changing. Rose has a huge platform now that she’s on a show as insanely popular as OITNB, so hopefully the more she talks about being gender fluid, the more people will understand gender doesn’t always come in just two options. We can only hope.


*I should point out that FTM and MTF are problematic terms because it suggest genitals equal gender.

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Trav Mamone

Trav Mamone

Trav Mamone is a bisexual genderqueer Humanist writer. They blog at Bi Any Means, and host the Bi Any Means Podcast. They live in Maryland.

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