Last Wednesday, an excerpt from NYLON’s upcoming September issue interview with everyone's favourite potty-mouthed brooding temptress landed on the internet.
In what will surely go down as the most anti-climactic one-liner in internet history, Kristen Stewart confirmed to interviewer Margaret Wappler what every single woman with gay tendencies has known since the release of that godawful movie with a glittery Cedric Diggory.
AND that she is, in fact, seeing former personal assistant-cum-visual effects and film producer, Alicia Cargile.
In the scissoring way.
Google her, she's not hiding.
But I digress...
‘Sexual fluidity’ has become a recent catch-all phrase for Western media, often quoted in conjunction with it’s brother from a different continent: ‘gender fluidity’ – primarily in thanks to gender fluid advocates such as Ruby Rose, and more recently Miley Cyrus. Rose, who identifies as lesbian and is engaged to the fabulous Phoebe Dahl falls outside the spectrum of today’s post. However, Cyrus has become a staunch advocate of fluidity across the board and has helped launch this new wave of sexual identity – or sexual non-identity, as the case may be.
Label dodging is not an entirely new issue in Hollywood, but it has been particularly active this year.
Photo: via Got Celeb
In April, Maria Bello - who is not gay or straight but simply “whatever” - released her book 'Whatever...Love is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves' which currently boasts a 4.5 rating on Amazon and began with her op-ed piece in the New York Times back in 2013. With it's celebrity-endorsement-filled accompanying website, 'Whatever' is essentially a challenge against the traditional labels of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Maria Bello - who pinged everyone's gaydar when she played bar owner, Lil in Coyote Ugly (2000), a movie which assisted in turning hundreds of women away from the path of heterosexuality and towards a life of bartending - is currently in a relationship with her friend-turned-lover, Claire Munn.
Although the likes of Gillian Anderson, Maria Bello and even Cate Blanchett have received press in 2015 in relation to issues surrounding ambiguous sexuality, it has been the entrance of Young Hollywood into the debate that seems to have turned label free, sexual fluidity into one of this year's most powerful and most polarizing issues amongst the queer community at large.
Paper's interview with Miley featured enough full-frontals to remind those of us pushing 30 that our tits will never be that perky again, and provided such classic quotes as: “I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age. Everything that’s legal, I’m down with. Yo, I’m down with any adult – anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me” and “I don’t relate to being a boy or girl, and I don’t have to have my partner relate to boy or girl.”
A couple of weeks later in Vogue’s controversially odd Rob Haskell article, Cara ‘eyebrows always on fleek’ Delevingne revealed “I think that being in love with my girlfriend is a big part of why I’m feeling so happy with who I am these days” and in what appeared to be the next breath – in print anyway – said “But I have erotic dreams only about men. I had one two nights ago where I went up to a guy in the back of a VW minivan, with a bunch of his friends around him, and pretty much jumped him.”
Frankly, I love a girl comfortable enough to talk about her orgy fantasies, don’t you?
Which brings us back to last Wednesday, and K-Stew.
The addition of Kristen Stewart to the debate has made waves as the number of young celebrity women - and high profile ones at that - openly dating women has now grown exponentially in comparison to...well...forever. These women are not simply American celebrities, but globally recognizable powerhouses. They have an astounding amount of reach.
This should be a good thing, right?
So then why are ladies of the women-who-love-women variety suddenly drawing battle lines at Thursday night book club?
Young Hollywood's shift toward the sexual fluidity movement has become a contentious issue for a number of reasons. In an era where the dust around marriage equality has barely settled in the United States, you only need to read the comments section on AfterEllen to know that many feel that Young Hollywood’s reluctance to embrace traditional labels, and their often cavalier commentary around them is a bit like taking a shit all over history.
Although labels are a tricky issue, and should never be considered 'one-size-fits-all', there is no doubt that they are vital in opening up a dialogue about non-heteronormative sexuality. Fluidity, by definition is something that is not in a fixed state, and it is very hard to legislate around something that is for all intents and purposes supposedly undefined.
Even as the mainstream media touts Miley, Cara and now Kristen as the leaders of a new sexual revolution for millennials, I think it’s fairly important to remember that these three women exist perpetually elevated above the rest of us in respect to their financial and celebrity status. Meanwhile, down in Kentucky there are people like Kim Davis who are still refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couple on the basis of religious freedom. So, I think we can cut LGBTQIA+, label embracing individuals at least little slack when they vent their frustrations against those who can so easily throw off definitions which many have fought decades to have recognized. Especially those who are still waiting for their fucking-piece-of-paper, Kim Davis!!!
As you’re now (hopefully) sympathizing somewhat with the anti-sexual fluidity camp, it’s probably time I mention that I disagree with said camp.
The labels of the LGBTQIA+ community deserve the utmost respect, as do the people who choose to identify under them. However, I feel that equal respect should also be granted to those who feel like they don’t necessarily fit into a pre-packaged box.
Simply put, I believe that people can be whatever the fuck they want.
Being a successful actress, singer or model who is dating a woman doesn't mean you’re instantly required to tell the world about your sexual preferences and current relationship status. It also doesn’t mean that the onus is on you to lead the charge in setting the world’s expectations around non-heteronormative sexuality. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you're a coward, in denial, or a bisexual in hiding for not choosing to align yourself with a particular letter.
After reading around the issue for the better part of last night, I can see the Utopia that Young Hollywood wants to create. It’s a land where people are not required to put limits on defining themselves; where the gender of the person you are dating should be irrelevant.
To use the words of the great Cate Blanchett: “in 2015, the point should be: who cares?”
Frankly I can’t help but agree. Visibility is important, but the type of visibility in this instance shouldn’t matter. Why on Earth is there nit-picking to be had when Kristen Stewart - much like Miley Cyrus and Cara Delevingne - is not hiding, and you can Google her. I think her visibility is doing enough, don't you? Her acknowledgement in NYLON alone, alongside dialogue from outspoken proponent of sexual fluidity and crafter-of-5-foot bongs Miley, provides excellent role model material for those who may not feel like they fit into one of the letters hand-stitched onto the rainbow flag.
For many of us, millennials are spoilt in the number of role models now available to them in mainstream media, and the fact that these individuals are further blurring the line of sexuality is, in my opinion, a good thing. Sexuality is not so easily defined, much like gender, and we should be open to all variations of both; and regardless of how charitable we in the LGBTQIA+ community like to think we are, there are certain standards which still exist within our own community which work to hinder the movement towards a world free of sexual inequality - biphobia and transphobia being two primary examples that come to mind.
The hard work of many in the LGBTQIA+ community has enabled these young women, and hopefully most of you reading this, to make the choice not to be confined within preconceived notions of what sexuality means.
It has meant that many falling outside the confines of heteronormativity now have the choice to embrace labels whole-heartedly and run around in Bobo Academy shirts, in public, rubbing their collective radness in everyone's faces.
Because, Yes Homo.
It has also meant that I can finally call myself a 'dyke on a bike' and be more concerned about all those cyclist hating lunatic drivers than people caring about the fact I used to date men and now date women and don't really know what to call myself either but gay, lesbian or bisexual is fine.
So sexually fluid? Who cares.
And, at the end of the day, it meant Kristen could simply refer your asses to Google and give zero fucks.
To which I agree.