Kristen Stewart opens up about publicly coming out and the pressure of representing the queer community

Actress says: ‘Living in this world, being a queer person, there are things that hurt constantly’

Kristen Stewart opens up about pressures of coming out as queer
Kristen Stewart opens up about pressures of coming out as queer
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Kristen Stewart has opened up about coming out as queer and how her identity impacted her early relationships.

In a new interview with InStyle for the magazine’s November cover, the Twilight actress was asked by Clea Duvall, the director of Stewart's upcoming film Happiest Season, whether her own experiences influenced her decision to take on the project.

According to Stewart, who is currently dating screenwriter Dylan Meyer, she resonated with the film because she felt she was “sort of cagey” with her relationships in public when she was younger, especially the first time she dated a woman. 

“Yeah. The first time I ever dated a girl, I was immediately being asked if I was a lesbian. And it's like: ‘God, I'm 21 years old,’” Stewart recalled. “I felt like maybe there were things that have hurt people I've been with. Not because I felt ashamed of being openly gay but because I didn't like giving myself to the public, in a way.

“It felt like such thievery. This was a period of time when I was sort of cagey. Even in my previous relationships, which were straight, we did everything we could to not be photographed doing things - things that would become not ours.”

The 30-year-old also said the “added pressure of representing a group of people, of representing queerness,” wasn’t something she understood when she was younger.

“Retrospectively, I can tell you I have experience with this story. But back then I would have been like: ‘No, I'm fine. My parents are fine with it. Everything's fine.’ That's bullshit. It's been hard. It's been weird. It's that way for everyone,” she said.

In the new film, a woman named Harper, played by Mackenzie Davis, who has yet to come out to her family, brings her girlfriend, Abby, played by Stewart, home for Christmas, according to Instyle.

According to Stewart, she felt protective of both characters in the film because  she’s “been on both sides of that dynamic where someone is having a hard time acknowledging who they are and the other person is more self-accepting.”

Prior to dating Meyer, Stewart dated Michael Angarano from 2005-2009, Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson from 2009-2013, and Soko from 2015-2016.

During the interview, Stewart also opened up about whether she feels there is an expectation for her to be a LGBTQ spokesperson as a queer person playing a queer character.

“I did more when I was younger, when I was being hounded about labelling myself. I had no reticence about displaying who I was. I was going out every day knowing I'd be photographed while I was being affectionate with my girlfriend, but I didn't want to talk about it,” she revealed, adding that the pressure wasn’t placed on her by the LGBTQ community but rather the media and her fans.

“I did feel an enormous pressure, but it wasn't put on me by the [LGBTQ+] community. People were seeing those pictures and reading these articles and going: ‘Oh, well, I need to be shown.’ I was a kid, and I felt personally affronted,” she said.

However, Stewart said she has since come to “relish” her identity as a queer celebrity, explaining that she “loves” the idea that she can help someone who is struggling.

“I love the idea that anything I do with ease rubs off on somebody who is struggling. That shit's dope!” she said. “When I see a little kid clearly feeling themselves in a way that they wouldn't have when I grew up, it makes me skip.”

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