Ruby Rose says she was surprised to be subjected to backlash for saying she identifies as a lesbian after being cast as the title character Batwoman in the first TV series to be headlined by an LBGTQ superhero.
The Orange Is the New Black star features in the upcoming Arrowverse series from The CW.
Rose, who identifies as a gender fluid woman, said she did not have an idea that her sexual orientation meant she could not be a lesbian because she does not view herself as a woman.
“I came to the States to get into acting, and I couldn’t even get a manager or agent, so I made a short film based on my life because I had the time to do it. I put it online, just to say, ‘This is something I wanted to do,’ and it went viral, which I didn’t ever expect. And then I got an opportunity to audition for ‘Orange Is the New Black’ because they wanted to have a gender-neutral character.
“But I’ve also gotten backlash. And that’s when you realise you have to keep up with the terminology. When I got cast as a lesbian in ‘Batwoman’, I didn’t know that being a gender-fluid woman meant that I couldn’t be a lesbian because I’m not a woman not considered lesbian enough,” she told Entertainment Weekly for its 2019 LGBTQ special issue.
Rose said she was initially irritated with the response to her casting as Batwoman but then she took some time out for introspection.
“My initial response was ‘Pfft!’ And then I was like, ‘Wait. Let me just figure this one out. How do I right this wrong, because if someone out there is upset by this, I need to know why and how to fix it.’ That’s when I sort of said, ‘I’m a woman that identifies as a woman. I’m not trans. But if being gender-fluid means that I can’t identify as a woman at any point, then I guess I can’t be that.’
“Maybe I need to make up another term, one that doesn’t step on any toes. One where I can be fluid in my gender, but also a lesbian, because otherwise I’m not sure what I am,” she said.