Orange is the New Black star Ruby Rose discusses being genderfluid – on the show, and in real life.
The Australian performer plays Stella Carlin in the third series of the Netflix prison drama and has quickly become a fan favourite. Rose is genderfluid – and it’s clear that Stella is too.
She spoke to Elle about what that means to her, and why it’s important that gender diverse people are visible.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
Rose has previously said she prefers she/her pronouns.
She said that being genderfluid was about “not having to succumb to whatever society – whether it’s work or family or friends or whoever – makes you feel like you’re supposed to be because of how you were born. That’s not the case at all.”
On her character Stella, she says: “She’s not the only androgynous girl on the show, but she’s the only person who really identifies publicly as being “gender fluid.”
“There’s a line in OITNB where Stella is making fun of Piper, saying like ‘Ugh. Women – can’t live with them, can’t live without them.’
“Piper’s like, ‘What? You don’t consider yourself to be a woman?’ Stella says, ‘I do, but that’s only because my options are limited.'”
Her co-star Laverne Cox has been praised for helping trans people come more visible, and recently spoke about how her portrayal of a trans woman had a helped a mother accept her trans daughter.
Rose says the same is happening for genderfluid people: “People are talking about gender fluidity more and more now because once someone opens a door to something like that, people put their hands up and say, “That’s me! That’ s my friend! That’s my sister! That’s my mom!”