Ruby Rose flew the flag for gender fluidity from a very public platform at the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) overnight.
The Orange is the New Black actress sent Twitter into a frenzy by promoting inclusiveness in her introduction when she welcomed “ladies and gentlemen, and everyone in-between”.
Rose, whose performance at the EMAs with her co-host Ed Sheeran was roundly well received by critics, does not identify as exclusively male or female. The 29-year-old has become a spokesperson for gender fluidity by speaking extensively about her self-identification and released Break Free, a short video celebrating gender fluidity, in 2014. The film has been watched almost 13 million times.
Rose defines gender fluidity as the feeling of not sitting at one end of the gender spectrum or the other.
“For the most part, I definitely don’t identify as any gender,” she told Elle in June. “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.”
Rose has described the turmoil she felt growing up before understanding that she did not have to identify strictly as one sex.
“As a little kid, I was convinced that I was a guy,” she told The Guardian. “I used to bind with ACE bandages, which is really, really bad for you. I was like, five or six? I was really young. I didn't have anything there to bind! I used to sleep on my chest because I thought it would stop me from getting boobs. I used to pray to God that I wouldn’t get breasts.”
The LGBT charity Stonewall commended Rose for subverting gender binaries with her address. A spokesperson told The Independent: "Addressing a room as ‘ladies and gentlemen’ is gender presumptuous as it excludes those who identify outside of the male and female gender binaries. It was fantastic to see gender fluid Ruby Rose subvert this and address all individuals inclusively at the EMAs last night."
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