Michelle Rodriguez Coming Out Bisexual Is A Big Deal

A few years back, my friend hired Michelle Rodriguez to DJ her party and took her out to lunch the next day. I grilled my friend about their mealtime conversation topics — Did she talk about Kristanna? Did she deny liking girls? Did she say anything gay? Does she have a girlfriend? A boyfriend? After all, she could just be one of those Clea Duvall types who are completely open person-to-person but more reserved when it comes to public declarations of lady-loving. My friend, who has been my go-to source for the secret scoop on Hollywood and Washington DC’s closeted homos for years, had been left flabbergasted by Michelle’s seemingly ace performance as a not-gay person when they hung out: “I’m really not sure that she’s lying! I know it sounds crazy, but she might actually be straight!”

I shook my head. “No, it’s impossible. Michelle Rodriguez for sure dated Kristanna Loken so she’s at least bisexual,” I paused. “But I don’t think she’ll ever, ever, ever say so.”

And then, last week, she did.

michelle rodriguez in entertainment weekly

michelle rodriguez photographed at comic-con for entertainment weekly

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Michelle Rodriguez, for the first time ever, officially and publicly disclosed her affections for ladies as well as gentlemen:

Rodriguez, needless to say, speaks her mind. She doesn’t shy away from addressing her fraught early days in Hollywood (“I was loud, obnoxious, crazy”) or even her sexuality. “I don’t talk about what I do with my vagina, and they’re all intrigued,” she says of the media. “I’ve never walked the red carpet with anyone, so they wonder: What does she do with her vagina? Plus, I play a butchy girl all the time, so they assume I’m a lesbo.” When EW points out that that’s not a fair assumption, Rodriguez laughs. “Eh, they’re not too far off,” she says. “I’ve gone both ways. I do as I please. I am too fucking curious to sit here and not try what I can. Men are intriguing. So are chicks.” She shrugs.

If you’ve not been keeping tabs on the evolving conversation around M-Rod’s orientation, good news: I have. (Despite the fact that Blue Crush and LOST are the only things I’ve ever seen her in.) Michelle Rodriguez has been actively and vehemently denying her Sapphic inclinations for years with unrivaled conviction and the fact that she’s now changing her tune — and that the response to her coming out has been so muted that I didn’t even know about it until reading our Sunday Funday today — is, honestly, a pretty big deal, and really awesome for her. As I’ve said over and over again lately, the rate at which celebrities have been coming out over the past two years is unprecedented and honestly quite thrilling, and M-Rod’s revelation is the cherry on top of the sundae that might actually be an endless sundae bar, if you get my drift. She’s also the latest in a long line of women of color to come out over the past year, like Raven Symone, Brittney Griner, Jasmine Jordan and Charice, bucking the flawed stereotype (often offered as an excuse for whitewashed lesbian media) that women of color just aren’t out.

So, let’s look at Michelle’s rocky road towards this monumental occasion, starting with her first (and last, until last week) actual disclosure of girl-on-girl culture appreciation.

cosmpolitan UK cover 2006

cosmpolitan UK cover 2006

In a July 2006 interview with UK Cosmopolitan, she answered a bunch of questions about her love and sex life, including mentioning a boy she’d just met in Brazil and discussing how she isn’t the type to “go out looking for a man” but that her failure to do so is “sad because I’d feel more complete… perhaps there is a gap in my life.” Although it’s not included in the article itself, interviewer Lucy Broadbent said of the interview:

“There was something about her that suggested to me she might be gay. I was hesitant about asking, but she was so easy to talk to that I took the plunge. She said she wasn’t, but that she’d experimented with both sexes. I found it admirable that she was so open about it.”

kristanna-loken-advocate-magazine-jan2007That openness pretty much stopped then and there. At the time, rumors were swirling about Michelle Rodriguez’s relationship with bisexual actress Kristanna Loken, who co-starred with Rodriguez in Bloodrayne and was then playing the role of Shane’s love interest Paige on The L Word. In an interview with FHM in December 2005, Loken “pleaded the fifth” when asked if they’d made out. In a November 2006 interview with The Advocate, Loken attempted to remain coy, affirming that she was seeing someone but refusing to disclose the gender or name of her partner. As the interviewer went on to ask about shooting BloodRayne, Michelle Rodriguez came up again:

What about all the stuff that was said about you and Michelle on the shoot? [Laughs, then takes a deep breath]

There is the $64,000 question. Um…I don’t even know how to answer that.

It seems like you both had a lot of fun partying.

Uh-huh. [Smiles, doesn’t say anything]

OK, your silence says volumes. [Both laugh]

Just don’t look upstairs, OK?

Ooh, OK. You don’t want me to print that?

You can print it. [Laughs again] The very hot housekeeper. No, just joking.

the curve magazine cover heard 'round the world

the curve magazine cover heard ’round the world

Then came 2007’s Curve Magazine cover story. Curve writer Kristin A. Smith wrote of the ensuing fallout in Curve‘s October 2010 20th Anniversary Issue:

We never said she was gay or coming out, but the blogosphere (thanks Perez Hilton!) went wild with the story and our website got so many visitors it crashed eight times in six hours. Rodriguez, who unwittingly spoke to our writer at a movie junket, was pissed, blogging back: “If I wanted people to know what I do with my vagina, I would have released a sex video a long time ago.”

Michelle took to her blog to lash out against the magazine for what she saw as “outing” her “on the premise of their own suspicions.” Rodriguez said she wasn’t insulted and did appreciate her big lesbian following “for whatever reasons they show me love,” claiming she’d never “shun, disrespect or neglect” anyone who shows her “genuine non-psychotic Love.” But she condemned Curve for “putting words in her mouth” and placing her in a “category” that would impact her marketability as an actress, pointing out that she wasn’t even aware they were planning on putting her picture on the cover. She also condemned the “MTV A.D.D. mentality,” US Weekly, In Touch and “the readers of sites like Perez Hilton.com” for spreading misinformation.

She then brought Ellen into it, sharing a deeply flawed understanding of what Ellen went through when she came out in 1997:

If I were Ellen I may get away with: ‘ The I’m Gay’ level of exposure, but I’m not a comedian, I like men; ( real One’s Anyway) and I’ve only bin in this business for 7 years not 20. Years of recognition can give a person lots of leverage especially if you have many years of positive recognition under your belt.

Rodriguez argued that being gay is an “extremist” position, and “extremists can rarely be mediators, mass communicators or chameleons for that matter” because there are “certain things that can close doors between a celebrity and certain audiences.” She implored audiences who called her gay to think harder about how they could affect her chances with producers, directors, would-be husbands and future audience members. From the blog:

I want to communicate on a worldly scale, i don’t care if your a bigot, highly religious, gay, poor, rich,stupid, or intelligent, i close no door when it comes to my media work. Some people, ( I call them ‘the sheep People’), are highly susceptible to outside influences and suggestions, Especially that of recognizable media channels. These people may make up most of the worlds population. They may not want to even watch a film I produce, direct, or star in, because of Mediocre Rumors produced by insect sucubus media hounds looking for a quick buck. Who knows, I could have inspired his kid with a kids flic I produced, i could have done a female drama, that a girl would have felt empowered by, yet she didn’t go see it because her religion says to ‘steer from the queer’, or the kid didn’t see it cause highly religious Poppa doesn’t want anything to do with films made by Michelle Rodriguez that DUI, Dyke, Misfit. I am free spirited enough to understand ‘the keep it real be free’ and ‘The I can’t care about everything they think’ factor, yet I’m not stupid to the powers and influences of communication and I’ve screwed up enough to see the various repercussions of miss- communication. So All I say to both the audience and Media is to be mindful of what you say and do simply because Karma is real and you reap what you sow.

There’s so much to criticize and side-eye in that post that it’s hard to know where to begin — but also, I don’t want to, because underneath all that transparently defensive aggression is a girl from a strict religious background who sounds, quite frankly, petrified of losing her job. Her foothold in Hollywood wasn’t entirely secure yet, she’s not known for making friends in the industry and as a Latina woman who refuses to take roles she sees as disempowering for women, her continued employment probably didn’t seem like a sure thing. She sounds scared. That was 2007, a year which came on the tail end of Rodriguez’s law-breaking period, during which she’d been arrested for assault (charges were eventually dropped) and for multiple driving violations including driving under the influence, a hit-and-run, speeding, and driving with a suspended license. She spent brief periods of time in jail and a lot of time on probation and community service. By the time the Curve story debuted, Rodriguez had a reputation in Hollywood for being unreliable.

young michelle rodriguez via michelle-rodriguez

young michelle rodriguez via michelle-rodriguez

Rodriguez grew up a headstrong troublemaker, offering physical protection to weaker kids in exchange for homework help and eventually getting expelled from five different schools. The daughter of a Dominican mother and Puerto Rican father, Rodriguez spent her early years in Texas, The Dominican Republic and Jersey City, raised Jehovah’s Witness by her devoutly religious grandmother. Rodriguez eventually dropped out of her Jersey City public high school, later obtaining a GED. “Fucking public schools suck ass, dude, “she told Entertainment Weekly. “But it’s all good. It taught me how to socialize.” When her brother expressed concern that she’d end up 17 and pregnant, she told him, “That won’t happen to me — I dress like a boy on purpose!” She worked as an extra before snagging her career-defining role in Girlfight in 2000, telling the director that she’d not graduated high school “but I can beat girls up and you want a boxer.”

girlfight

She then went on to play leading roles in Fast & Furious, Blue Crush, Resident Evil, Avatar, BloodRayne and on the television show LOST, among many, many others. Her troubles with the law quieted down after her release from jail in 2008, and in 2009 she started DJ’ing, including a gig at the 2010 GO Magazine Lesbian Nightlife Awards in New York City. Besides Loken, Rodriguez has been linked to Vin Diesel and Oliver Martinez, and in 2000 reportedly broke off her relationship with a Muslim boyfriend who proposed engagement and made religious demands of her she found disempowering.

michelle-djing

M-Rod at the GO Magazine Party 2010

In 2008, she told Dominican women’s magazine Cayena that she is not a lesbian. When asked by RumorFix in 2011 if there were any rumors she’d like to dispel, Rodriguez quickly snapped, “I’m not a lesbian. Mitchie likes sausage.” While it’s true — Michelle isn’t a lesbian, and she does probably enjoy eating sausage (And perhaps also enjoys penises? Specifically penises attached to cis male bodies? Is that what she’s getting at here? It’s hard to tell.), it’s also clear that her denials haven’t ever been attempts to clarify that she likes both men and women, they’ve just been about making sure everybody knows she likes men.

I never expected Michelle Rodriguez to come out because Michelle Rodriguez, perhaps moreso than any other actress we’ve followed in eager anticipation of her big reveal, has gone miles out of her way to insist that she’s not gay. In a 2010 interview with Bound Magazine, Kristanna Loken was talking about her then-girlfriend Victoria when M-Rod indirectly was summoned:

It’s been a year now and it’s really nice to be with someone who’s really happy to be out and identify as a lesbian and be secure in that because I’ve also had relationships with women who are really afraid of their sexuality, which I think is really sad. Without giving away too many details, because it’s personal: being outspoken about who people are is important for acceptance of sexuality and I think that’s something I’ve learned from my [gay] sister: the more you speak about who you are, the less taboo it becomes. Being outspoken I have fans write to me, very grateful young girls… I think I’m probably one of the only out bisexual celebrities that’s willing to talk about it.

behind the scenes of bloodrayne, 2005

behind the scenes of bloodrayne, 2005

This is why Rodriguez’s repeated statements of exclusive affections for pork products were so heart-breaking, in a way — because Rodriguez herself is committed to being a positive and empowering role model for young women, which for a long time didn’t seem possible because drunk driving is not Role Model Behavior, but now might actually be possible. And as much as I understand, logically, that humans are entitled to private lives, emotionally I just can’t get on board with somebody preaching strength and integrity while actively denying their own personal truths, especially at the expense of their partners. (Also, I don’t think it’s fair to hold her (or most people) to the extreme levels of political consciousness and correct-terminology-mastery often established in academia and consequently taken for granted on the queer internet despite its relative inaccessibility to the majority of human beings, so I don’t, but the words she’s chosen to talk about these things have often added insult to injury.)

From the get-go, Rodriguez has explicitly committed to films that empower women, telling Entertainment Weekly, “Female empowerment became my torch to bear. I won’t bend on what I believe in. I don’t care who you are — you can be the best director on the planet. If you don’t get what I do, what I’m good at, I will not bend for you.” In a special video to fans in 2009, she emphasized her dedication to seeing “hot girls kicking ass” on screen because she’s “tired of seeing the ways girls are viewed on screen… there’s a lot cooler, sexier, hotter things that women have had to offer for the last thousand years and now that we have the opportunity to show that, I’d like to be part of that movement.” She’s working on a script about a secret society of women and told EW she’d love to write one about a Latina superhero. Amongst Latina women in Hollywood, her career box office earnings are second only to Cameron Diaz (who most people don’t even know is Latina). She’s been in all the lad mags, she’s a big deal, and now she’s one of us, officially. If Michelle Rodriguez feels okay about coming out now, it’s anyone’s guess who might be next in line.

What prompted this change of heart? We’ll likely never know, but she did tell Entertainment Weekly that she’s been getting a lot out of therapy. It’s also entirely possible that she just wasn’t sure of her sexual orientation until recently. And now I’ll end this piece on the same quote her Entertainment Weekly story ended on: “I always felt like a loner, and now, you know what? Fuck that! I want to know who’s out there. I want to hang out with the kids and see what they are thinking about. I want to mingle.”

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we are also ready to mingle

Profile photo of Riese

Riese is the 33-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1795 articles for us.

59 Comments

  1. Thumb up 40

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    “There’s so much to criticize and side-eye in that post that it’s hard to know where to begin — but also, I don’t want to, because underneath all that transparently defensive aggression is a girl from a strict religious background who sounds, quite frankly, petrified of losing her job, basically.”

    This, really this. I was at San Diego Comic Con when Michelle (amongst others) spoke about feminism, geek media, and what it means to be a kickass woman. Michelle had a lot of strong ideas, some of which were, admittedly, less than nuanced, or maybe not properly representative of certain groups, etc. But, I don’t know, somehow it broke my heart. I couldn’t even begin to criticize what was so clearly the desperate, defensive struggle of a women who has been deeply hurt by a sexist industry. It was so palpable, watching her. I just … I don’t know, no matter what she says, I can only wish her the best. She’s had a lot to fight against.

    • Thumb up 21

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      yes, i agree with you so much! this is really affirming actually because i felt like i wasn’t taking a critical enough tone with the whole post, but something about the way she has talked about everything, as like, “problematic” as it’s been, just has struck me as so scared, like really desperate self-preservation. i think growing up without having anything handed to her probably also means she’s coming from a very different place than a lot of people in hollywood, which is the place of not having that net. like she really believed it would ruin her career. whether or not that was true doesn’t really matter, it’s clear she really felt that way, and it’s hard not to relate to that emotion… when you’ve worked on building a thing really hard, being scared that just saying the wrong thing about something that has nothing to do with the work itself could destroy it all instantly.

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        Yes, those blog posts you quoted were *fascinating*! Certainly you hear famous folks talk about how hard it is to make it big, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen an actor lay bare that kind of calculating analysis about the work of maintaining one’s image and staying in the mainstream public eye. I guess part of what struck me is that that, in itself, seems *totally* risky, to so bluntly reveal that the person you present to your audience is totally engineered for maximum inoffensive appeal. The easy thing for an actor in her position would be to say “no, I’m not gay” and maybe launch into a rant about privacy, but this is something else entirely.

    • Thumb up 14

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      Also, being raised as a JW can leave you with a lot of internalized homophobia, and a lot of fear. Fear that maybe you are wrong, maybe you are actually an irredeemably horrible person, maybe Armageddon is actually coming any day now and you are going to DIE. It took me a good ten years to go from initially realizing that I liked girls to actually coming to terms with being queer and feeling ok about it.

      Plus, when you come from a background that is not only really conservative, but also VERY isolated, you just have a lot of things to learn! That probably is a factor in the problematic language.

      • Thumb up 7

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        Scoot over and make some room on that bench for me!

        Isolation is factor in this religion. I can’t speak for other J-dub kids but I was not socialized well as a puppy. the learning curve is starting to peak but I had to do a lot of internal dismantling.

        My queerness did not surface until late 20’s because for a long time, I didn’t think I that was an option I was allowed because Armageddon and the death thing. I was attracted to my bf in high school but I didn’t “know” I was attracted to her. Does that make sense? Isolation works wonders on the mind. I think if these feelings had made themselves known sooner, I would have exploded so it was my brain’s way of protecting me until I was emotionally ready to handle them.

      • Thumb up 6

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        Yes. yes. and yes. I was raised JW as well. I made the decision to “quit” at 14, (basically tired of feeling guilty about masturbating) Ive definitely internalized some homophobia and A LOT of sexism in those tender years of development.
        My queerness also did not surface until my 20s. I had never experimented with women even though I found them attractive physically and emotionally, as a teen I definitely was locked into this cycle of serial hetero monogamy tryin to “find myself”. Kinda fucked up though, I wish I had been able to see then what I see now…but thus is life.

  2. Thumb up 7

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    Every time Michelle Rodriguez opens her mouth, I cringe. I have been over this woman for years now because of the countless interviews I’ve seen her do where she says something completely stupid and offensive. So now she’s finally coming out as bisexual. We’ll see if that lasts or if she reacts that statement and admonishes Entertainment Weekly the way she did Curve back in the day.

      • Thumb up 11

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        It’s not about bi erasure. I’m talking about Michelle Rodriguez’s specific history with the press. I’m talking about the fact that she has fought against that label her entire career until this point. Every time someone has made a claim that she has liked women she has been really defensive about it. Particularly when she practically berated Curve years ago about it. If she didn’t have a reputation of denying and retracting such statements(the likes of which I’ve seen no actress before her bend over backwards to deny) I wouldn’t even question her taking back her statement.

  3. Thumb up 5

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    honestly i thought she came out a long time ago.
    i’ve always had a crush on her and she’s a great actor. i’m glad she’s finally being cool with who she is and letting others know it.
    i’m waiting on her to play a superhero sometime or be the lead of a show like dollhouse or buffy.

  4. Thumb up 18

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    I’m pretty sure Autostraddle is a magical wishgranting factory that predicts exactly what I want in my life and then puts it in an article. Thanks once again for the thoughtful, probing piece of my dreams and much needed commentary on this. xoxox

    Also, does Michelle Rodriguez not know the word “sheeple”?

  5. Thumb up 3

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    So, I can’t lie I’m partially maybe a little bit drunk and I’m just so excited about this, probably more than I should be. This article, void of the “I’m an actress that can’t support gays because it’s bad P.R.” stuff, makes me so happy. Michelle Rodriguez finally coming out is definitely a big A+ in my big ol’ book of lady loving celebrities…Heyll yiss.

  6. Thumb up 12

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    Reading this allowed me to have empathy for her. I can understand her statements more because they seem to have come out of fear & self-preservation. Constantly defending your lie can make you bitter and on edge. It makes a lot of sense. I hope that in the future she is more genuine & herself. It’s going to take some time for her old statements to fade from my memory.

  7. Thumb up 2

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    I don’t know who she is, reading the article I understand that all these comments came from a place of fear. But also I just don’t feel excited as I usually do when someone comes out. I don’t know. I mean I’m glad she did, I’m happy for her. I don’t see this as a positive example for the community though, but I get it and I do believe not every LGBT person has to be an LGBT advocate. I respect that. It just doesn’t excite me as much as people who come out in a more positive way.

  8. Thumb up 2

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    i can’t even really explain how insanely attracted i am to michelle rodriguez. i just….i can’t.

    also, i know someone that slept with her a long time ago (a lady), so i always knew for sure that there was some amount of lady-loving in her. i’m happy to hear her starting to sound okay with stuff and talk openly about it.

  9. Thumb up 2

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    This is a great article..mostly. I have a little bit of a bone to pick with the author for the first paragraph where you goes on about MRod HAVING to be “at least bisexual”. I just bothers me that someone with so much of a presence and voice in the LGBTQ community as yourself is writing about how walking around and labeling people. I think that just gives off a bad impression and isn’t sitting well with me. It’s perfectly fine to have your opinions on someone else’s sexuality but to go around saying they HAVE to be something or other, is not your statement to make. A whole part of being LGBTQ is self-identification and I’m a little off put by the fact that you thought it was okay to frame your entire article about how YOU knew she had to be at least bisexual and you were right. But other than that, I think it’s really great how you lay out her whole career and her obstacles and how it makes sense why she has acted in a certain way. But I have a hard time getting over the beginning.

    • Thumb up 12

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      I think you need to consider context a little more. I quickly re-read that first bit and it seems to me like Riese said that in a fairly conversational way to a friend. I hardly think that’s “walking around and labeling people”. In fact if you consider Autostraddle’s approach to not speculating about/not outing famous and semi-famous people, Riese should maybe get a crown, cause I promise you a lot of page views (and thus money) is to be made from speculating and outing people. And she does not allow that to be done on her website. I think if you consider that and just generally the ethos of AS and it’s owners, you will find that you are maybe overreacting a little bit to the use of the word voldemort bisexual.

    • Thumb up 5

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      well, it was a private conversation between me and a friend, and i think we all speculate in private and say things in private we’d never say in public. it just seemed like an apt anecdote to use as an intro but i’d never relay it — or any of the speculative things i’ve said about closeted celebs in private — had she not come out.

      it was an attempt to open with a story i thought a lot of people could relate to, the way all the gay and queer women i know (including me) have this way of speaking freely in private with outsized and unwarranted authority about the sexual orientation of people we don’t even know.

      • Thumb up 2

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        I get that it’s a private conversation but you chose to make it public, which changes things. I understand that Autostraddle seeks to maintain this idea of not outing and speculating. Which I think is wonderful. But I personally dont think it’s okay to even portray it conversationally. I think if we hope to stop the speculation and outing of people, it has to extend to our interactions on a daily basis. What makes is okay for me to conversationally speculate about someone I dont know? I get that it’s something that happens, but that doesn’t make it right.

        • Thumb up 5

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          She made it public after MC came out as bi. Which I personally don’t believe in (that she’s bi and not gay), but that’s just my opinion – hardly could be considered as “outing”. I also think that if we all followed your solution, we could be easily erased out of existence by our enemies – because hey, being gay must be a modern whim, since almost no one admitted it before, therefore there were no homosexual people! Being lesbian or bi is all about identifying as such, not about being born this way!

      • Thumb up 1

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        And my intent is not to put down your article in any way. I think it’s really great the way you posed the story of her coming out etc. It made her more real and relatable. But it’s just that first put that put me off and I felt like I needed to share.

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        Insisting that a person is lying/wrong about their orientation is horrible in private or in public, regardless of whether you sometimes turn out right.

        It really sucks to be someone whose gender expression reads as queer, but whose relationship doesn’t according to to their ASAB, and to hear these conversations. To know that behind your back people are saying you don’t love the person you love, that you are a liar or self-deluding.

    • Thumb up 7

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      To be honest, I still think she’s actually gay, judging from how she handled those things in the past. Like it or not, but it’s much safer (for a woman) to say that you’re bi in Hollywood when you can’t hide anymore that you’re into women. There are lots of bi actresses, and when it comes to lesbians, those that came out did it after their careers have ended (or have been ended by it). Hollywood has not much use for lesbians (even for lesbians characters – as GLAAD reports show, there have been 3 time less of them on screen than gay male characters, and when they actually are shown, usually their vaginas have to be open for men as well – just in recent Riddick movie we had lesbian that had to be “degayed” by magical penis).

  10. Thumb up 9

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    Thanks for this article, Riese <3
    I think M-Rod's public journey deserves compassion, and I'm happy for her that she's now able to tell EW what she did. So many of us go through similar struggles, we just don't have invasive reporters bugging us about it. It's not easy to come out, for all kinds of reasons. So let's celebrate that M-Rod's in a happier situation these days!

  11. Thumb up 20

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    “She’s also the latest in a long line of women of color to come out over the past year, like Raven Symone, Jasmine Jordan and Charice, bucking the flawed stereotype (often offered as an excuse for whitewashed lesbian media) that women of color just aren’t out.”

    AND

    “Also, I don’t think it’s fair to hold her (or most people) to the extreme levels of political consciousness and correct-terminology-mastery often established in academia and consequently taken for granted on the queer internet despite its relative inaccessibility to the majority of human beings”

    YES! Can I just say that I love Autostraddle and being able to read a queer lady site that commits itself to really getting “it”? You know? It’s awesome. As a queer woman of color, I like that I feel represented and thought of here. As a cis woman, I like that trans women can feel represented and thought of here (and that I have to un-do thinking about my own privileges and that is encouraged here). As a (chubby) fat femme, I like that I am thought of here. It’s beautiful. And I want to once again take a moment to say thanks.

    Also, yay Michelle!!

  12. Thumb up 34

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    I don’t understand why anyone chooses to come out on any site/other medium other than Autostraddle given that Riese can turn any of the dumb shit you say into this brilliance.

  13. Thumb up 3

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    FINALLY is right. I don’t think I’m alone in saying I’m one of the people who have WONDERED endlessly if she’s lesbian, straight or bi. I mean every single time she’s on screen I can’t help but wonder. I know roles shouldn’t be a way for you to justify people but you always kinda go…’man I hope she’s a lesbian or at least bi. I’d totally date her.’ LOL.

  14. Thumb up 5

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    Yaaay I first read the news about M-Rod on Jezebel, but it was such a tiny passing mention that it didn’t satisfy my urge for more info like this article did. Thanks Riese, this is so thoughtful and nuanced. I’m a HUGE FAN of more women of color coming out as bisexual. YAY VISIBILITY!

    P.S. Can we make MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ BISEXUAL a thing?

  15. Thumb up 7

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    Reading this I have gained all the empathy points and now I’m going to save a bundle a of kittens from a burning building while cleaning the polluting oil from ducklings.

    This post has made me a better person for reading it and you Riese should feel good.

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    It is because of pieces like this that I donate money, buy T-Shirts and reccomend this site to everyone I know.
    Standing ovation, Riese, that was borderline genius. Seriously jaw dropping beautiful writing.
    And Michelle, if you’re reading this, call me. You’re in my five. ;)

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    Good for her for coming out. As many people have said on here, it was great hearing about her background as far as why she may have said some of the things she’s said or acted the way she has before.
    Lord knows I am scared to death to come out to some people, was scared of everyone until not too long ago…I can only imagine the courage it takes to come out to a world that thinks it needs to know your personal business. Even though more and more celebrities and everyday people are coming out every day, we can’t forget that. We can’t forget the pressure society puts on everyone (meaning EVERYONE) to not deviate from the norm.
    I’m not making excuses for anything she’s done or said, just pointing out that it’s a journey for all of us and we all have to do it the way we feel is best…you do you and all that…

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    To be honest, I still think she’s actually gay, judging from how she handled those things in the past. Like it or not, but it’s much safer (for a woman) to say that you’re bi in Hollywood when you can’t hide anymore that you’re into women. There are lots of bi actresses, and when it comes to lesbians, those that came out did it after their careers have ended (or have been ended by it). Hollywood has not much use for lesbians (even for lesbians characters – as GLAAD reports show, there have been 3 time less of them on screen than gay male characters, and when they actually are shown, usually their vaginas have to be open for men as well – just in recent Riddick movie we had lesbian that had to be “degayed” by magical penis).

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      I also think she’s actually gay! The proof is that she explains her attraction to men in terms of “the sausage”. I’ve never heard a straight woman say she likes men because of dicks. Straight women like “men as a packages” not “dicks” (see also below).

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    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve never heard a straight woman, a genuinely, confirmed, certified straight woman, say that she likes men because of their sausage or pork products. Straight women like men, not dicks. They like men as a package. They don’t think in terms of, “I must like men and thus I can’t be a lesbian because I like sausage”. In my experience, it’s usually the closeted bisexuals or lesbians who have these thoughts. Unconsciously, they’re probably trying so hard to like men and think “ok so what would make me like men instead of women? What do men have that women don’t?” and that’s when the sausage comes to mind and they’re like “ah yes, of course, the sausage”. But IN REALITY, we all know that “absence of the sausage” is not a good enough reason not to like women… if anything because it can be a temporary absence :P

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    In a nutshell Michelle Rodriguez’s outlook seems to be ‘ I don’t wanna be labelled LGBTQ because it could cost me lots of money, prevent me from getting the job of my dreams or meeting my soulmate’. Her fears are understandable, some might even empathise, but is this a person we want to put front centre stage?

    My initial impression of her was a confident soft butch and boy was I wrong. Confident she is not, Michelle sees this community as some form of a liability ( an extremist position) or she did in the past and maybe she’s coming around. I no longer care. I lost interest in ‘M-Rod’ after the whole ”Mitchie likes sausage” episode.She acted like sexuality is a cut and dry issue, the world is black and white – there are no grey areas and the Kinsey scale doesn’t exist. She can go scru!

    Anyone whose gaydar is functional gets vibes from this woman, who calls themselves Mitchie for goodness sake?!But unlike other closeted WOC who simply say no comment she crosses the line by making lightly veiled insults. It makes her difficult to forgive when she finally starts seeing the writing on the wall.I don’t want Mitchie front, centre stage as an LGBTQ role model. She cannot be saddled in the same category as Ellen, Wanda, Rachel etc.

    Put her in the chorus, or in the background.. you know what, I don’t care how appealing she is, just put her offstage. She can be a gofer or something. That way we don’t have to worry about whether she approves of our lifestyle or not in the ripe old year of 2013.

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    FINALLY. Like CeCe Peniston level of finally.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk8mm1Qmt-Y

    I don’t like the phrase “at least bisexual.” I hear it a lot and it makes me cringe. It sounds like “at least you get the half-assed version of gay!” I completely agree that coming out as bisexual seems to be easier for celebrities who have to sell movies to teenage boys and continue to delude men through media that they are the only humans that matter.

    I am really jealous of her therapist, who feels SO professionally competent right now.

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    As much as I understand how very problematic many of the things Michelle Rodriguez has said and done are, I completely understand where she was/is coming from. Growing up in a repressive religion with very conservative/controlling parents, while feeling the need (for whatever reason) to maintain an image can make the queerest of girls say some pretty problematic things. I’m not saying that makes it ok. But it’s 100% understandable. Dealing with the shame and the pain of constantly repressing my own sexuality, I can remember multiple occasions where I vehemently claimed to be completely straight. I also remember that, as much as I sympathized with and supported the openly queer women on my undergrad campus, I felt so goddamn uncomfortable around them (because I saw a huge piece of myself that I wasn’t willing to face) that I thought and even said some not-so-loving or even ally-like things (as much as I proclaimed myself to be an ally).

    So I get the criticism. But everyone has to go through their own process, influenced by their background and their own internalized hate in many cases. So I get her anger and her denials and her desire for privacy and maintaining a certain image.

    I truly hope that any and all reaction to her recent confirmation will be completely positive and supportive. Cuz feeling in any way rejected by the queer community while you’re already struggling with your own internalized hate can only serve to make you hate yourself more and possibly even try to shove you back in the closet.

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      Also, Riese, this article was amazing!! This is in no way a criticism of your writing. It made me think a ton, and you handled the balancing of problematizing and sympathizing amazingly well.

      Just wanted to add my $0.02. :)

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    Honest to god Michelle is the most hottest woman i have seen and has been my celebrity crush for 5 years. She probably wont date a girl like me and also I’m only 21. But I would love a shot ^_^
    If anyone has a problem with my comment come handle it on my facebook, Ajay Allabach.

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