Ruby Rose's Story on Gender Identity Is Challenging Stereotypes

July 13th 2015

Laura Donovan

Last month, "Orange is the New Black" actress Ruby Rose made some powerful comments about about gender fluidity, noting that she doesn't fully identify with one gender. The model and DJ told Access Hollywood in a new video interview that she considered undergoing the transitioning process as a teenager.

Revealing that she was bullied as a child and came out at 12, the Australia native confessed she started experimenting with gender fluidity at 15.

"When I was younger, for sure I [thought about transitioning]," she said in the chat. "I had this jar that I would collect dollars, in fact, we were so poor, it would have been cents, so I probably had 19 cents to go towards this surgery that I really didn't know a lot about. I think I'd seen like a daytime documentary, probably something on 'Oprah,' and I was like, 'That's what I'm going to do.' So I started saving from probably the age of five. When I got to 15, [it was] when I kind of decided to get more into my body. I shaved my head and my mom was like, 'I don't know what's going on right now, but if you are happy, then do it.'"

Rose said that shaving her head, altering her appearance, and changing the way she spoke made her see she didn't actually want to transition, but live more comfortably.

"I realized I didn't want to transition, I just wanted to be more comfortable in my own skin," she said.

Rose's interviewer also mentioned Caitlyn Jenner, who famously graced the cover of Vanity Fair's July 2015 issue this year.

"I just really feel so blessed to be alive and even part of this huge movement," Rose said. "[I'm like], Caitlyn, call me! I mean, I'm busy but I want to hang out. You're awesome."

In Rose's interview last month with Elle, she praised Vanity Fair for putting Jenner on one of its covers. She also lauded "Orange is the New Black" for writing trans actress Laverne Cox a strong storyline on the series.

"I think it's amazing that Caitlyn got the cover of Vanity Fair and there are media outlets that are willing and wanting to put her on the cover; to put her in the magazines, on the shows, in their brands, however they're supporting her," Rose said. "And by supporting her they're supporting that whole community. It's huge. Between 'Orange' with Laverne, the show 'Transparent,' and Caitlyn Jenner, obviously we're in the middle of something enormous – a transgender movement. I'm just proud to be alive during this massive shift in the world."

Rose, who is launching a gender-fluid brand, said that gender is sometimes complicated.

"Gender fluidity is not really feeling like you're at one end of the spectrum or the other," Rose said. "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."

In 2014, Rose broached the subject of gender fluidity for a video titled "Break Free" in which she takes on a more masculine look after ridding herself of a feminine appearance: