'OITNB's' Breakout Star Ruby Rose Explains What Gender Fluidity Means

Male? Female? Both? Neither?

If, like us, you've been staying up late binge-watching Netflix's third season of Orange is the New Black, you're probably already a fan of Litchfield's new arrival, Stella Carlin. Portrayed by the Australian Ruby Rose, Carlin is the only character on the show who identifies as gender fluid — but what does that mean exactly? In an Elle interview, the new star of OITNB, Ruby Rose, explains the term "gender fluidity" and its increasing visibility in mainstream culture. 

In the interview, Rose describes her take on the concept: not identifying as male or female, but somewhere in-between. The 29-year-old, who personally identifies as gender fluid, told Elle:

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.
JoJo Whilden/Netflix
JoJo Whilden/Netflix

In real life, Rose is a model and VJ in Australia. She is one half of what the local media dubbed the "world's coolest lesbian couple" — her girlfriend is Phoebe Dahl, granddaughter of the beloved author Roald Dahl. Together, Rose and Dahl are set to launch a gender fluid, gender-neutral clothing line called Scallywags sometime next week. 

Her obvious good looks aside — she's been frequently mistaken for Justin Bieber — Rose is also a vocal supporter of Caitlyn Jenner's public transition. 

"Between Orange with Laverne [Cox, the transgender character], the show Transparent, and Caitlyn Jenner, obviously we're in the middle of something enormous — a transgender movement," she told Elle.  "I'm just proud to be alive during this massive shift in the world."

And in case you're more interested in gender roles and gender fluidity, watch this short film Rose made:

[Cover image via JoJo Whilden/Netflix]