There’s a lot of discussion going on right now about identity, how we see ourselves and what we feel like inside vs. how others see (and unfortunately, judge) us. As Orange Is the New Black’s newest star, Ruby Rose (aka Stella Carlin) notes, with Laverne (Cox), shows like OItNB and Transparent, and Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover, it’s an exciting time — one of “massive shift in the world.” After starting her public career as a model, through which Rose found she liked expressing herself as different genders, the actress discovered she is gender fluid. For those who may feel confused by Miley’s thoughts on that term, Ruby is happy to clarify what it means to her.
“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.
…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.”
Though I’ve just started the third season of Orange myself (and not yet seen Rose’s character), it’s great to hear the show is incorporating more questions about identity, and its complexities. Rose talks about a key scene between Stella and Piper (Taylor Schilling):
“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.’ It’s a very small line, but what I really read from that is that she is a woman - obviously, she’s in a female prison - but if she had it her way, she probably wouldn’t be. But, what’s her option? To transition to a guy and then be in a men’s prison would be incredibly dangerous. The takeaway is that only you know who you were born to be, and you need to be free to be that person.”
But when it comes to childhood heroes, and who the Australian actress turned to for comfort, it was neither man nor woman — rather…turtles?
(About her Ninja Turtles tattoo) “Growing up, I had a very vivid imagination and Leonardo was like my best imaginary friend that I spoke to. When things were tough, or I was scared in an unsafe environment, I always imagined that the Ninja Turtles would come to the rescue.”
Following her amazing and thought-provoking video, Rose and fiancée, Phoebe Dahl have created a gender fluid/gender neutral clothing line, and she continues to speak about gender non-conformity, and support equality reforms.