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Batwoman: Gender-Fluid Ruby Rose On Criticism for Playing Lesbian Superhero

ruby rose

One of the biggest premieres coming up for The CW next fall is the Arrowverse's latest entry, Batwoman, starring Ruby Rose. More than the biggest spotlight ever for the DC character, it will be the first superhero series to star an LGBTQ+ hero.

After her casting, Rose encountered confusion from some fans regarding her gender identity and sexual orientation. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the star explains how she's dealt with that, and the backlash she faced from certain portions of the LGBTQ+ community over playing a lesbian despite not having identified herself as such previously.

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“I came to the States to get into acting, and I couldn’t even get a manager or agent, so I made a short film based on my life because I had the time to do it," Rose recalled. "I put it online, just to say, ‘This is something I wanted to do,’ and it went viral, which I didn’t ever expect. And then I got an opportunity to audition for Orange Is the New Black because they wanted to have a gender-neutral character. But I’ve also gotten backlash. And that’s when you realize you have to keep up with the terminology. When I got cast as a lesbian in Batwoman, I didn’t know that being a gender-fluid woman meant that I couldn’t be a lesbian because I’m not a woman — not considered lesbian enough."

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“My initial response was ‘Pfft!’ And then I was like, ‘Wait. Let me just figure this one out. How do I right this wrong, because if someone out there is upset by this, I need to know why and how to fix it,'” Rose continued. "That’s when I sort of said, ‘I’m a woman that identifies as a woman. I’m not trans. But if being gender-fluid means that I can’t identify as a woman at any point, then I guess I can’t be that.’ Maybe I need to make up another term, one that doesn’t step on any toes. One where I can be fluid in my gender, but also a lesbian, because otherwise I’m not sure what I am."

Written by Caroline Dries and developed by Bertlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, Batwoman stars Ruby Rose, Rachel Skarsten, Meagan Tandy, Camrus Johnson, Dougray Scott, Elizabeth Anweis and Nicole Kang. The series will air Sundays at 8 pm ET/PT this fall, though no premiere date has been announced yet.

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