Ruby Rose, the model and DJ turned actress and soon-to-be-autobiographer, will debut as character Stella Carlin in Season 3 of "Orange Is the New Black" on Saturday. The multi-hyphenate star recently spoke with Net-A-Porter magazine about her struggle with gender, being an out lesbian, and closeted Hollywood.
Rose talked about being confused about her gender as a child and getting in fights with bullies.
“I didn’t like girl’s clothes. I wasn’t comfortable with Barbies," said Rose. "I would slick back my hair and pretend that I was a guy."
The former fiancée of bisexual supermodel Cat McNeil, who Rose met when they both participated in a teen magazine modeling competition in 2002, recalls McNeil's rise in the modeling industry, even as her edgy looks scared off advertisers. Their tumultuous relationship was chronicled in Australian tabloids for years until they broke it off last year, but they remain friends.
Regarding her life in Los Angeles, Rose told Net-A-Porter that many gay people in Hollywood fear coming out of the closet, and she said they have reason to.
“They feel that they won’t get roles, or the world will turn on them – if not, the media will. It’s pretty disappointing that they have to live in fear. And it’s a real fear," she told Net-A-Porter. “It’s a reality that people who come out can’t get roles playing heterosexual people.”
Rose is now engaged to designer Phoebe Dahl, with whom she's collaborating on a unisex gender-neutral clothing line. In addition to playing Stella on "OITNB," she's also starring in the sci-fi TV show "Dark Matter," she's still recording music and DJing, and she has signed on to write her autobiography -- at the tender age of 29.
In 2014, she wrote and starred in a video called "Break Free," which has been viewed more than 3 million times on YouTube and features Rose's gender transformation from "conventional femme" to her signature "low-femme" style. She describes it as, "A short film about gender roles, trans, and what it is like to have an identity that deviates from the status quo."