Freja Beha Erichsen is Gay, Covers Vogue UK, Doesn’t Mention It But That’s OK

FREJA BEHA ERICHSON

August 2010 is a big month for (lesbian) model Freja Beha Erichsen. Actually, 2010 in general has been a big year for Freja Beha Erichsen. Actually, Freja Beha Erichsen’s life has been a big deal to us forever. I mean look at her:

This month, she’s on the cover of W Korea:

And on the cover of Vogue Paris:

And in an editorial for Interview Magazine with Dan Kling, which is the gayest straightest editorial of all time:

But most importantly, she’s on the cover of British Vogue:

Jenna Sauers at Jezebel points out that despite last month’s engaging profile of Lara Stone, there’s something lacking in Freja’s editorial and she suggests that British Vogue is afraid of the word “lesbian.”

Yes, British Vogue somehow managed to write like 1,200 words on Freja Beha without mentioning her sexual orientation! That’s weird, because we can’t write 20 words about her without mentioning her sexual orientation, but then again, we don’t have to run any of this by her publicist. Also though Queen Latifah just wrote an entire book, so.

But is British Vogue really afraid of the word lesbian? Or is it Freja, or her publicists? Do we hold models to the same standards we hold actors or politicians? Freja isn’t a vocal public figure or celebrity, she doesn’t host a reality show, and she doesn’t seem to have ever spoken much about anything, let alone her sexuality.

Jenna Sauers’ primary complaint about Freja Beha Ericson’s editorial was that it was super boring. She sounds right. We just get VOGUE for the pictures anyhow:

It’s an article that could be submitted to win Ladymag Editorial Cliché Bingo: the endless discussion of the subject’s looks and her style, the series of fashion brand names that resounds like a bass line through the piece, the one-line quotes from industry sources, the report from the front lines of the photo shoot. The photographer and Vogue‘s own fashion director are interviewed, and discuss Erichsen’s “innate sense of style.” Erichsen calls Lagerfeld “inspiring.” She intends to take a road trip this summer — with friends.

She continues:

What Vogue can’t or won’t say, but what is totally obvious to anyone actually interested in this woman and her life, is that Freja Beha Erichsen is an extremely successful model and she dates women. She is a PJ Harvey-listening, tattoo-having, tomboy-dressing, public-photographs-with-her-girlfriends-allowing, Danish supermodel lesbian. Lesbian. Lesbian. Why is that word so hard to say, Vogue? If you Google her, one of the first things that comes up is a big picture of her kissing a chick, for God’s sake.

Well, a lot of women kiss women, so. However, this section from British Vogue (not included in the Jezebel piece) seems more apt for lesbian-exclusion speculation:

“She has laid roots in Denmark, where she recently bought a home in which her best friend lives. Freja hopes to return there, and maybe one day raise a family, but she is a long way from settling down.”

Interesting. The Jezebel article points out:

… in a 2007 interview for V magazine with makeup artist James Kaliardos — who is also gay — Freja and Kaliardos both started laughing when he referred to her as “straight.”

“I’m very straight…forward,” she joked.

The segment has unfortunately vanished from V’s website, probably because it’s so old, but the point is Erichsen isn’t living in the closet.

Here’s the thing: Freja has not yet “officially” come out.

We’re gay. We’re a gay website. We read about gay people all day and therefore know, KNOW like you KNOW that you’re gay, that “not living in the closet” does not a lesbian make. You can’t just slip it in there! If Vogue had dropped the L-Bomb, it’d be all anyone was talking about, and Freja would lose her chance to come out spectacularly on the cover of People Magazine in 2015.

Jenna’s argument is totally logical/sensical for anyone less-attuned to the GLBT media machine than the GLBT media, we’re not faulting her for writing something that makes sense. But the Coming Out Process For Celebrities isn’t sensical. We’re not quite there yet, though Jillian Michaels quite impressively broke rank this year when she innocuously dropped her sexuality into a Ladies Home Journal article about losing weight or whatnot.

Especially since, if you really are “anyone actually interested in this woman or her life,” you would realize that Freja’s maybe not quite as open about her sexual orientation as Vogue seems to think – ask any seventeen-year-old Tumblr-obsessed lesbian, and she’ll tell you that Freja, like Kate Moennig, has taken care to never have any sexual orientation stated publicly anywhere. Sometimes all it takes is a shorter-than-your-shoulders haircut for a straight publication to assume that you’re a straight-up out-n-proud lez, and sometimes that’s not really how it works, yannow?

In conclusion:  IS JENNA STRETCHING IT? SHOULD FREJA COME OUT? SHOULD ANYBODY CARE? DOES VOGUE? DO YOU? DO I? HOW DO LESBIANS HAVE SEX?

WESTBORO/COMIC CON:

I don’t know why this has never occurred to us before, but SDCC members are probably actually the perfect antithesis to the Westboro Baptist Church, and this post of the protest signs created by the real-life superhero nerds of the San Diego Comic Con prove it. KILL ALL HUMANS is actually Autostraddle’s motto, just a fun fact!

A collection of Jedi Knights, anime girls, and others were lined up on the street when the Westboro protesters arrived. They held signs reading “God Hates Jedi,” “Kill All Humans,” “Fags are Sexy Beasts” and “God Hates Kittens.” They even had a rallying cry, which went: “What do we want? Gay Sex? When do we want it? Now!” The Westboro people stood across the street with their own signs. Besides the aforementioned Obama poster, they also held slogans like “Inconvenient Truth: God Hates Divorce” and “God Hates You” (guess these fire-and-brimstone types missed the “loving God” day of Sunday school, huh?).

The coverage of the WBC’s kind of bizarre protest of ComicCon makes us question their strategy even more seriously than before, and also appreciate the geeks and nerds of the world even more than we did previously, which is saying a lot, because I mean have you ever met Taylor? (@i09) (@jezebel)

DARIA:

Do you remember first watching Daria and thinking that this was the beginning of the future? The beginning of a time when girls could be smart and sassy and wear huge boots with no repercussions? As you may have noticed, that didn’t happen, and Marisa Meltzer has a lot of questions about this.

“So where did all the Darias go? Eight years after the show went off the air, the super-smart, dry, withering, righteously angry girls are largely absent from pop culture. For every sassy adolescent as played by Juno’s Ellen Page, our current teen cultural landscape is clogged with heroines whose principal interests, as on Gossip Girl, are status and men. It’s a transition that happened gradually from the late nineties to the present: There was the dry-humored Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the earnest clique on Dawson’s Creek, Mean Girls, the teen magazines that brazenly suggested $400 APC wedges for fifteen year-olds, the endless YA series that read like junior versions of Danielle Steel novels.”

(@theparisreview)

TRANSGENDER HOUSING:

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has now declared that under the Fair Housing Act, transgender people should be protected under the existing rules against gender discrimination. “While sexual orientation and gender identity are not specifically named in the Fair Housing Act, HUD explained that transgender people are often covered by the ban on gender discrimination, and that discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual people might be covered by other aspects of the law.” (@goqnotes)

TRANS DAD:

Thomas Beattie is ready for his third child with his wife! Congratulations, Thomas! (@queerty)

IRELAND:

A new initiative in Ireland has begun to recognize the fact that all communities, including rural ones, include GLBTQ people. “The initiative aims to function by uniting and strengthening LGBT organizations throughout the country to better address the needs of each region. The group was developed out of collaboration between 11 Irish LGBT organizations and will receive funding from the Atlantic Philanthropies, a grant group that gives billions of dollars to various aid programs each year.” (@theadvocate)

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Rachel is Autostraddle's Senior Editor and the editor who presides over books as well as news and politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel currently lives in Michigan. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy."

Rachel has written 736 articles for us.

22 Comments

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    I thought that was rather rude of them to state Freja is a lesbian.
    Everything about her orientation is assumption as of now as she doesn’t get very personal with media much unlike Stone.
    + Lately she’s been photographed around NY with a gorgeous (& rather androgynous)male model.
    So who really knows
    The Vogue article was average.
    To Jezebel, -chillax they are just models after all

    And good on the US govt for covering transfolk from discrimination a little more. step by step

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    a;fklsagipdslgjpesf;ewjkapg;dsgjkds; i think i just turned into a melty puddle of gooey goo when i saw “freja beha” and “is gay” in the same sentence and can no longer type properly, ever. i’m not sure if it was freja or lilo who turned me gay, but does it really matter? all i know is, i saw freja in an editorial in H&M magazine one fateful, fateful day, & i never turned back. i really wish that *I* was the “best friend” living in her house… :>

    also, i’m really surprised/impressed they managed to get a whole interview out of her. homegirl never talks. ever. she’s too busy being silent and SMOLDERINGLY SEXY for frivolous things like “questions” and “answers.”

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    Vogue articles usually state the obvious in order to stay safe, so when the obvious isn’t safe we notice. Also I think that Freja is probably very private, and shouldn’t be compared to someone like Lara Stone who is vocal about issues that are perfect for getting printed in Vogue.

    On a more exciting note, there’s this blog at British Vogue’s website called “Today I’m wearing…” which is exactly what it sounds like. The cover models photograph what they are wearing every day for the whole month they are on the cover. Right now its Coco Rocha since she was cover for July, but if the stars align WE WILL SEE WHAT FREJA BEJA IS WEARING EVERY DAY IN AUGUST!!!!!!

    URL:
    http://www.vogue.co.uk/photo-blogs/coco-rocha/100720-coco-rocha-day-23.aspx

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      Shit. Apparently I lied. The “Today I’m wearing…” blog is not always the cover model. But it was for Alexa Chung back in March, and the blog has also featured precious hot precious models like Daisy Lowe. Which is probably why I didn’t notice the blog didn’t match with the covers. So I hope you forgive me and hold out hope that Freja will be blogging in August. When you wish upon a star…

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    isn’t that if you are in the fashion industry, and you are gay, then you really don’t need to talk about it , because pretty much everydody is gay and nobody cares…right? ppl dont talk about being gay in a real gay world…

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    i’d just like to say as the obligatory 17 year old tumblr lesbian, i dont care if she’s homomazing or not, i’m still going to reblog her until the cows come home/she gets into my bad.

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    Freja is in fact gay. She dated fellow model Cat Mcneil for awhile in 08/09. But I don’t think she has to “come out” she’s very private and models aren’t required to be public figures anymore…though she is becoming one in fashion and queer circles.

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    Ha, I love/hate how the photo they used for the Ireland story is one of a field full of cows, what a coincidence, that’s the exact field I live in, I live just underneath that rainbow. Also, I know for a fact that no more than 10 years ago on one of the islands off the coast of Ireland there was this bus tour, and that it used to stop outside the house of the one out gay man on the island and the tour guide would say, andthis is where the gay man lives, he’s from London you know, take a picture if you want….no word of a lie. So yeah, the scene is fantastic in Dublin and Cork and maybe Belfast (not Galway!!) but the rest of the country has a loooong way to go.

    Aswell as that, look how skinny that woman is in the first photo, that’s quite the opposite of hot in my opinion, ew.

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    as a very queer girl who worked in PR for quite a long time, trust me, the amount of nauseating PR stunts that go into “let’s not mention that they’re gay unless someone asks and then you can make a cute joke” type shit is unbelievable. Exhibit A who I did marketing for and wanted to gag myself with a spoon the whole time: Lissy Trullie. If I hadn’t quit my job months ago I’d probably get fired for this comment since we literally had EPICLY LONG CONFERENCE CALLS of her record label talking at me about how I wasn’t supposed to approach ‘gay media’ and/or mention anything about sexuality and/or talk about the fact that she was a raging dyke even though, like, look at the damn girl and it’s relatively obvious if you see her out basically ever or like, do any research at all or talk to her at all. she doesn’t really give a crap about it, it’s basically the label/pr being afraid of nonheteronormativity somehow not being profitable or somehow pigeonholing her. I completely freaked out about this freja article on TFS last week as well for the same reason — it’s all publicists micromanaging an appearance and not wanting to make the first thing people say about her be ‘she’s a lesbian’ EVEN IF IT’S REALLY, REALLY OBVIOUS because, like, people might be WEIRDED OUT.

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    i agree with uhoh, society nowdays seems to dictate that our sexuality is the most important and most interesting thing about us, which is quite sad because our sexuality doesn’t (well at least shouldn’t) dictate our style, hobbies, interests etc.

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    Freja…is soo captivating to look at I remember seeing her talk for the first time
    i was so melted with this feeling inside of me. The way she moves her hands. the way her lips talk, the way she is so calm , she just drawwwsss youuu innn.. soooo closee. Yes, I had her on my mind for a longgg timee.Its quite amazing how you can be so indulged by another human.

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