“OINTB” Breakout Star Ruby Rose Kicks Gender Binary’s Ass In “Break Free” Video

ruby rose

Photo: Justin Bishop for Vanity Fair

Gay, straight, bi or none of the above: There’s no denying the innate hotness of model-turned-actress Ruby Rose, who has caught everyone’s attention on Season 3 of Orange is the New Black.

On OITNB, which dropped earlier this month, Rose plays Stella Carlin, an Australian inmate who falls into a messy love triangle with Piper and Alex.


“Stella’s very androgynous and comfortable in her skin,” Rose says in the newest issue of Vanity Fair. “But I have insecurities, and I get shy, nervous. Whereas Stella doesn’t really give a fuck.”

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Now 29, Rose came out at 12 and promptly became smitten with songbird Mariah Carey. “I was pretty certain we were going to end up together,” she tells VF.

Photo: Justin Bishop for Vanity Fair

She’s currently engaged to designer Phoebe Dahl, granddaughter of author Roald Dahl—and even has Phoebe’s name tattooed on her back with a big red heart.


Photo: Getty

Rose’s gender identity doesn’t fit into any neat boxes: A successful model and host on MTV Australia, she bound her chest with bandages as a teen, praying she would never develop.

She was born female and uses female pronouns, but when asked which gender she identifies more with, she says “it would be a boy, a guy.”

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Rose lashed out at Hollywood expectations about “sexiness” and femininity with “Break Free,” a performance video that sees her go through a gender evolution from long-haired bombshell to queer boi, complete with strap on.

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“[Break Free’] is about how as soon as I get to take that hair off, and as soon as I get to take that makeup off, and as soon as I get to be 100% what I would be—which is definitely more boyish—I’m just freer.”

“And,” she adds, “I’m happy.”

Watch “Break Free” below.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.