Australia’s Ruby Rose has used her acceptance speech at the GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Awards in Los Angeles to open up about the struggles that marred many of her adolescent years. The Orange is the New Black star was recognised as an “LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance” with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award.
Tearing up as she was introduced by surprise guest Taylor Swift, Rose said: “It's so interesting to receive an award for visibility because for such a large part of my life, I just wanted to be invisible."
“I felt there was so much wrong with me and there was so much weird about me… I felt discomfort in anything feminine. I practiced looking like a boy. Still do. I got appalled when I got breasts. Sometimes, still do. I spent a lot of time in a very vulnerable place with little to no support," she went on.
The 30-year-old, who came out at age 12, has suffered from depression and said she attempted suicide a number of times after being "stalked, verbally abused and beaten until I was hospitalised".
"I dreamt of being a famous singer or an actor who, through my work, could inspire others to be themselves or hang in there. I had no idea how I dreamt so big when I felt so small, but I know it got me through each day. I wanted to be the person I couldn't find in my life.”
Rose found solace in relatable characters on Australian TV and on long-running series The L Word which she said: “Probably saved my life. It made me feel like I existed," she said. Rose, who will soon be starring in the new xXx movie, follows on from previous honourees Laverne Cox, Chaz Bono, Alan Ball, Ellen DeGeneres, and Sir Ian McKellen.