Australian television presenter/actress/model Ruby Rose has many adoring fans across the world - fans of all genders and sexualities. And for year many of those fans have been know to describe the extent of their adoration by saying they would "turn gay" for the openly lesbian, gender fluid icon.
But for the first time, Rose has publicly responded to the comment.
Although the turn-of-phrase is used innocently by fans, Rose's recent response to the benignly-intended compliment sheds light upon how those words actually harm the world's already narrow perception sexuality and gender.
Rose told Galore magazine when people tell her they'd "turn gay" for her, she laughs. Not out of coyness, but out of incredulity at such a comment:
"When people say to me that I turned them gay, I just laugh, because that’s not really even a possibility. It sounds like I did something against their will in the middle of the night, as if I crept into their brain and pushed the gay button, then did an evil laugh and left them to fend for themselves—newly gay and alone in the world," she says.
Rose says sexuality is a personal experience, one that no other person can influence. No one can make you gay, even if you happen to have a one-off crush on someone from the same-sex, she says.
"I break it down like this: Did I find Channing Tatum in Magic Mike to be extremely hot? Yes! Could I now turn straight for him without having previously ever had a desire to be with a man? The answer is, nope. Haha. But people will say to J. Law, 'I want to be your best friend,' or to T. Swift, 'I want to be in your squad.' Everyone has got their little thing, and the catch phrase I got after Orange was, 'She turned me gay.'"
Rose believes in the Kinsey Scale theory which views sexuality as a continuum, not binary. The Kinsey Scale, developed by American sex researchers Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy, and Clyde Martin in 1948, ranges from numbers zero (exclusively homosexual) to six (exclusively heterosexual).
Rose first came out as lesbian at age 12. She has been previously linked to model Catherine McNeil, Demi Lovato, and was famously engaged to Roald Dahl's granddaughter, Phoebe Dahl.