Tag Archives: femininity

What Does it Mean to be Gender Fluid?

For many people, the terms ‘gender’ is interchangeably. Both Miley Cyrus and Ruby Rose have spoken publicly how they about identifying as gender fluid. But what exactly is it and is it on the rise? If you’re not familiar with the term, gender fluidity refers to somebody viewing themselves as both male and female.

Some gender fluid people will alter their clothing depending on whether they feel more masculine or feminine while for others it’s a state of mind that they don’t outwardly express.

While you might have put Miley’s transition from girlie Hannah Montana to her current androgynous style down to fashion preference, but the child star has announced she doesn’t want to be boxed into one gender identity.

She recently told Out.

I didn’t want to be a boy … I kind of wanted to be nothing. I don’t relate to what people would say defines a girl or a boy, and I think that’s what I had to understand: Being a girl isn’t what I hate, it’s the box that I get put into.”


Also read: Miley Cyrus: “I’m Not Hiding My Sexuality”

Meanwhile, Ruby Rose, soon to be star of Orange Is The New Black, shared a rare insight into being gender fluid in her short film Break Free, where she transitioned from an ultra feminine version of herself with long blonde hair to a masculine version in a suit.

The only reason it was a surprise was because gender fluidity doesn’t get talked about enough. Once the film went viral, the floodgate opened; to me, that said that this was something much bigger than I thought it was.”


Gender is all around us. It is actually taught to us from the moment we are born. Gender expectations and messages bombard us constantly. Upbringing, culture, peers, schools, community, media, and religion are some of the many influences that shape our understanding of this core aspect of self. How you learned and interacted with gender as a young child directly influences how you view the world today.

However, the diversity of gender is a normal part of the human experience, across cultures and throughout history.

Non-binary gender diversity exists all over the world, documented by countless historians and anthropologists. Examples of individuals living comfortably outside of typical male/female expectations and/or identities are found in every region of the globe.

The calabai, and calalai of Indonesia, two-spirit Native Americans, and the hijra of India all represent more complex understandings of gender than allowed for by a simplistic binary model.

Further, what might be considered gender-expansive in one period of history may become gender normative in another.

One need only examine trends related to men wearing earrings or women sporting tattoos to quickly see the malleability of social expectations about gender. Even the seemingly intractable “pink is for girls, blue is for boys” notions are relatively new. While there is some debate about the reasons why they reversed, what is well documented is that not until the mid-twentieth century were notions of pink for girls or blue for boys so firmly ensconced.

So, you can make the case that “pink is the new blue!”

Perhaps the most fundamental aspect of a person’s identity, gender deeply influences every part of their life.

In a society where this crucial aspect of self has been so narrowly defined and rigidly enforced, individuals who exists outside its norms face innumerable challenges.

Even those who vary only slightly from the norm can become targets of disapproval. Yet this does not have to be the case forever. Through a thoughtful consideration of the uniqueness and validity of every person’s experiences of self, we can develop greater acceptance for all.

Not only will this create greater inclusion for individuals who challenge the norms of gender, it will actually create space for all individuals to more fully explore and celebrate who they are.


Challenging Gender Perceptions – Did Ruby Rose ‘Break Free’ Video Get this Right?

As a masculine-of-centre woman (and a lesbian at that) things are likely far from a walk in the park. Society already has harsh expectations embedded in it that suggest that it’s only ok for men to be masculine and for women to be feminine – any blurring of the lines is simply unacceptable.

So when a woman not only abandons a feminine dress sense, her perceived female identity and is open and proud about her sexuality too, there are always going to be calls against her from the groups of ignorant people.

Bring on DJ Ruby Rose then, who identifies as gay and is known for her more masculine fashion sense and her roster of impressive tattoos as much as she is for her music. In her new music video for ‘Break Free’ she challenged these perceptions by depicting her transformation from feminine to masculine over the course of the song.

The video didn’t just catch flack from ignorant people though, as it actually caused offense to those who it was meant to honour. According to Rose, the video is “about gender roles, Trans, and what it is like to have an identity that deviates from the status quo”.

However, in the video she seemed to depict a gender fluid character who let go of their femininity to become more masculine – something Rose depicted by using a binder and a fake penis. Some have called Rose out on the fact that she did not publicly identify as trans* nor gender fluid (at the time the video was posted).

Therefore she had no right to depict such an identity, which is perhaps valid given how many actual trans-men, women and those who are gender fluid already have trans* and gender fluid characters’ roles in the media given to cis-gendered people. However, after posting the video online, Ruby Rose did come out as gender fluid saying that she identifies as neither a man nor a woman.

Meanwhile, one YouTube commenter says that “I don’t like this [sic] videos idea of a male image.” failing to realise that these attributes are often accepted and even celebrated when displayed on cis-gendered men. Another plainly said “You’re going too far, it’s confusing.”

But what does Rose say to these haters? In a statement to Cosmopolitan Australia she said this,

“You know what needs to stop just as much as homophobia, bullying within the LGBT Community… A ‘bisexual’ isn’t just greedy… ‘Pansexual’ exists and isnt a cop out.. ‘Straight’ people can be huge gay advocates and blessings to the community…

You can identify as trans without surgery, you can be gender fluid… In fact guess what… you can be whoever you are and like whoever you like and WE should spread the love and acceptance we constantly say we don’t receive.”

Ruby Rose

Breaking free: Ruby Rose Transforms From Female to Male

Watch Ruby Rose use the power of the visual to communicate her views on sexuality and gender.

Taking to Facebook this week, the 28-year-old shared her debut short film ‘Break Free’ – transforming her feminine look into that of a man (bandaging her chest and wearing a sex toy).

The video starts, with Ruby wearing long blonde hair, and the picture of femininity as she stares into the mirror. The model then sets her eyes on a pair of scissors, the music kicks in as she grabs for them and starts tapping her forehead with the blades, before another shot of the star again staring into the mirror ended the short clip.

After some consideration she starts chopping at her hair and the transformation begins – transforming her do into a pixie crop look similar to the hairstyle she currently sports. She then scrubs her smooth skin to reveal the array of bold statement tattoos that she sports on her arms and neck. Taking her transformation to the next level, she bandages her chest and straps on a dildo before swapping her fitted frock for a smart suit. Hot!

Engaged to fashion designer Phoebe Dahl, Ruby revealed earlier this year in April that she had longed to undergo a female to male transition when she was younger. Referring to her current androgynous style, she said seeing recent pictures of herself reminded her of feelings she had about her gender many years ago…

‘It’s weird, some of the androgynous photos I have taken lately really make me wonder what i’d have looked like if I did a FTM (Female to male) transition like I wanted to when I was younger,’

But Ruby then said she is now at peace with her appearance and went on to explain that in her Facebook post.

‘Happy how I am.. I am a woman, but I would have been just as comfortable as a boy. I know a lot of people don’t understand that, but I know a few of you do’

BTS of ‘Break Free’. A short film about gender fluidity.

Casey Legler | The Male Role Model

Casey Legler, is a woman model currently earning her keep working as a male model. Although androgyny has often been celebrated by the fashion world; with women playing male roles, and men playing female; there are not many making their living exclusively from such an act.

Yet, recently the trend has shifted. We have Andrej Pejic, a young male model, making a splash with his femininity, and now Legler who two years-ago signed a contract with Ford Models.

This new play on gender identity is one that is being embraced by both females and males across the global. However, Legler doesn’t want to be the poster boy for “gender identity” and “gender expression”. She labels her look an expression of ‘freedom’.

“I understand signifiers. We’re social creatures and we have a physical language of communicating with each other…”

Casey Legler

Standing 6’2, Legler clear defines her self as a female, but her close-cropped hair, neck tattoos and lanky frame give her just enough of a masculine look to model suits and baggy jeans as convincingly as the next male model.

“… it would be a really beautiful thing if we could all just wear what we wanted, without it meaning something.”

Casey Legler