A conversation with Ruby Rose

QT: You’ve been working for months on a clothing line [Milk & Honey] that’s just come out — can you tell us about the style and what inspired your designs?
RR: It’s very edgy rock kind of clothes, heavily distressed and embellished denim, oversized "boyfriend tees" (oh the irony), singlets and some digital print pieces that I am really digging at the moment. I am inspired by old movies, music, art and people … lots of animal influences as well.

QT: Will your line be available in the States?

RR: Maybe one day, at the moment it’s just in Australia, so I guess you all just have to come visit!


QT: What’s something people would be surprised to find out about you?
RR: That on a Saturday night I’m more likely to be drinking wine with friends, playing Twister, Jenga or Pictionary than out at a nightclub, unless I’m DJing of course.

QT: What gave you the courage to come out at a young age?
RR: I am not really sure. Looking back at high school I was pretty ballsy, considering I wasn’t exactly a popular girl. I was much more comfortable around boys than girls and because of this I was often accused of trying to "steal" peoples boy friends and that used to get to me a lot, I guess I became tired of keeping it in and I figured at least if I were just honest with myself and them, they would leave me alone. Which obviously didn’t happen, I just made myself the biggest target in school. Oh well … someone had to be and I turned out fine. [Laughs]

I remember knowing I liked women from even my earliest memories, and I guess as I trusted friends I slowly told more and more people and it spread like wildfire which is pretty standard for high school. Some were supportive, others not so much and pretty much every girl assumed I had a crush on them but this was some what less offensive as being a "boyfriend stealer."

QT: So, you didn’t have other gay friends back in high school?

RR No, I was pretty much the only one. I had a few straight friends who entertained the thought of kissing a girl. Which as we all know, only leads to heartbreak, [laughs] so I learned that lesson very early on. I did feel that I needed to connect with people who knew what it was like to be gay, so eventually I went to an underage gay club and started to make some friends.

QT: The story of your constant abuse at the hands of anti-gay bullies in school is horrifying. Just as horrifying, it happens all over the world. It’s happening right now. If you could say anything to these bullies, what would it be?

RR: I’d warn them that if they spend all their time working on bringing people down instead of furthering themselves then they risk ending up like the girls who bullied me, becoming nothing and having to watch that person whose life you tried to ruin for years, become happy, successful and most importantly, dignified. I got to where I am because I always say thank you. It’s the small things that count. Being bullied made me stronger and I am always thankful of what I have.

You see, whether you believe in god, karma, or the universe, at the end of the day your actions have consequences and only you can choose your path. Bullying in school won’t get you anywhere in the real world, so you had better shape up otherwise you will quickly discover you spent all your growing years trying to hurt other people because of your insecurities, and you will leave school and have absolutely no idea who you are and more often than not the victim of your actions will have a great sense of self, strength and resilience.

QT: We liked what you had to say about Katy Perry — perhaps using gay themes only to make money. Was there a response from Katy, and what were other peoples’ reactions?
[Laughs] Actually, Katy taught me a valuable lesson: never be to quick to judge so. I am very open-minded and easygoing and it takes a lot for someone to rub me the wrong way. However, when “I Kissed a Girl” came out, every single radio interview or TV interview would play it before and after my appearance. I was constantly asked about it, and people would turn in up in there cars if I was out and DJs would play it if I was at a club. I was like “Man, I swear to god if I ever meet this girl.”

It obviously annoyed me from a GLBT point of view. It really sent a message out that trivialized being gay, however at the end of the day she has backed it up with hit after hit, has a great voice, and she sings about “melting popsicles” on her latest album — she is actually just a very cheeky, witty, hilarious woman. I did ask about it being released first but she actually didn’t want it to be released first — that’s the decision of the record company. To be honest, she is one of the most charismatic, hilarious yet hardest-working people I have ever met and I respect her a lot. We have become friends and I think she’s great, but don’t play that song to me. [laughs]

What’s your take on the trend of celebrities kissing people of their own gender only in front of the cameras?
RR: Well, I don’t know if I have seen that happen very often? I mean, the last time I can recall, Scarlett [Johansson] and Sandra Bullock kissed at the VMAs and I think it was actually incredibly clever and not at all offensive or tacky. I imagine after what she has been through she would have found it quite liberating. It sent a positive message to people who have been in her situation. She is amazing.

I guess it always depends on the context, I remember some small “scandal” about Miley [Cyrus] kissing a girl during a gig. That’s probably a little bit tasteless to me, but maybe that’s just because I didn’t understand why exactly she did it. This whole “sexed up” Miley thing creeps me out anyway. People grow up too quickly. Urgh … now I have said that I will probably meet her next week and she will be amazing and I’ll feel really mean! Didn’t I learn anything? Rihanna in the “Te Amo” video clip on the other hand … surely we all enjoyed that?

QT: For sure…so, you’ve got  something of a "reputation" with the ladies. Would you say that you are judged too harshly?
RR: [laughs] What reputation? Is it bad? Well … I don’t really know because I don’t read my press. Beth Ditto gave me that advice once and I listened. The last time I read too much into it I was depressed for two weeks. It’s just words on paper. It ends up being packaging for fish and chips anyway.

QT: When do you plan to conquer the states? The US could really use an outspoken, “no apologies” kind of lesbian.
RR: Well, I am not really a “no apologies” kind of lesbian, [laughs] that makes me sound like some kind of scary cage fighter. I mean, I am outspoken and opinionated. However I also have learned that to know when to shut up is just as valuable. I go to the States quite often and I will probably do a few DJ gigs over there this year. Besides, if you say the US needs me, then I guess its my duty to come over, right?

Absolutely! Where can people find out more about you?
RR: Hmm … not in tabloid magazines or Page Six preferably. I will have a website up soon (www.rubyrose.com.au). I also have twitter@rubyrose1 and hopefully I’ll be DJing later this year.

This article originally appeared in Q town.

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