LGBT icon: Ruby Rose

The ‘T’ in LGBT is arguably the least accepted, acknowledged, discussed and understood subject amongst peole. Despite times having changed- albeit only slightly- there are more questions than anyone has answers when it comes to gender orientation.

Many people struggle and suffer (in silence) with their thoughts, confused and scared about what they are feeling even if though they have likely felt ‘different’ since birth. TNT takes you on a journey with an iconic LGBT figure who seems to have helped at least a handful of homosexual and/or transgender people.

On 20 March 1986 in Melbourne, Australia a baby girl was born, she was named Ruby Rose Langenheim.

Born to a young single mum and named after Australian boxer Lionel Rose who is her Godfather, Ruby had a tough upbringing. Often subjected to physical and mental abuse at school, Ruby somehow found the courage to come out as gay at just 12 years old after feeling like she wanted to be a boy from a very early age.

Years of being bullied at school because of her sexual orientation resulted in her being hospitalised at the age of sixteen which subsequently triggered a lifelong battle with depression.

These days, 28 year-old Ruby is more confident and sure of herself: “”I am very gender fluid, and feel more like I wake up every day sort of gender neutral” she told the Guardian newspaper last year.

Best known for her work as a DJ and presenter on Australian MTV, she has also been the face of Maybelline and a model since she was in her teens.

Most notably, though, Ruby’s extensive tattoos attracted the world’s attention when she bared all for Maxim as part of her ‘I’d rather go naked than wear fur’ campaign for PETA.

Soon after the magazine spread in July 2014 a YouTube video entitled Break Free- “A short film about gender roles, Trans, and what it is like to have an identity that deviates from the status quo”, reads the bio- was shared worldwide. In the short film written by and starring herself, we get to see Ruby transform from a girly female to a macho man in a matter of minutes.

We see her chop off long blonde hair and remove high heel shoes before getting in to a bath still in her bodycon dress and pouring buckets of water over herself. There’s a momentary halt in questioning why the wet- dress-heaving-bosom scene is necessary when Ruby begins scrubbing at her skin to rub away body paint and reveal all of her tattoos.

The reason for the wet top scene becomes clear when we see her bind her chest to emulate a man’s and then complete the look by transforming in to a rather Bieber-esque dude with short black hair, jeans shirt and jacket.

Of the video, Ruby told the Guardian, “I put this video out that I really intended to be therapeutic for myself”.

Ruby’s coming out story, various same sex relationships including a brief engagement to Phoebe Dahl (Granddaughter of Roald, Cousin of Sophie) and her short film going viral have made Ruby Rose one of the most influential and recognisable gay icons worldwide.

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