Feature image via Brianna Hildebrand’s Instagram
Once upon a time, like about ten minutes ago or so, we existed in a world where a young actress with a breakout role in an A-list blockbuster superhero movie would have an image so curated and micromanaged she’d seem like a factory-built Cylon. Brianna Hildebrand, for example. She played Negasonic Teenage Warhead in Deadpool, a movie that’s receiving almost as much press during its DVD release this week as it did when it landed in theaters in February. Not very long ago, Brianna Hildebrand would have been presented to us by a publicity team as a very straight person, and we wouldn’t have known any better.
Hey, but guess what? Brianna Hildebrand has Twitter and Brianna Hildebrand also has a girlfriend.
Over the last few weeks, she’s just casually started talking about her girlfriend on Twitter, like NBD, no need for some kind of orchestrated coming out. No need to pretend she’s straight, or to just be silent about her sexuality. It’s kind of mind-boggling, really, the way things are shifting so quickly with regards to celebrities coming out. It’s almost like for famous humans Brianna Hildebrand’s age (19), there’s no need to even come out at all. More and more Hollywood people just are out these days. They’re posting photos of them smooching their queer partners on Instagram; they’re casually dropping their sexual orientation into conversations; they’re sidestepping the closet completely.
Brianna Hildebrand is being extra adorable about it.
Is this the future? Gosh, I hope so! You should watch Deadpool. Negasonic Teenage Warhead is, in the words of Deadpool himself, cool as shit. (Brianna Hildebrand’s Instagram is also a treasure trove of delightfully unapologetic feminism.)
Edit: This post originally referred to Brianna Hildebrand as gay because we misunderstood the “I knew I was gay” tweet. It is maybe not in reference to her. The post has been updated to reflect that she is a girl with a girlfriend with no confirmed label.
everyone is gay
See? Last year I would’ve put that in all-caps. Now it’s NBD. Progress!
Where do you even store all your comment awards?!
We gotta build you a nice shelf to put them on!
For realsies I wonder if people are gonna shout “COMMENT AWARD” at queer girl at A-camp whenever she says something funny
But no pressure.
This gave me an idea, maybe some kind of “Comment Award Annual Gala” at A-camp?
She doesn’t identify as gay
What does she identify as?
she tweeted 15 min ago: “Not everyone in a same sex relationship identifies as gay…!!!”
ONE OF US! ONE OF US!
I am singing this in my head to the tune of “Consider Yourself” from Oliver.
I’m singing it to the tune of Ramones’ Pinhead. Which is basically like the chanting in the movie it comes from, but with some drums and Joey Ramones’ voice. ^^
And of course she turned out to be one of those obnoxious young people who “fuck labels” and think it automatically places them above those who “limit themselves” by “chosing” to only date one gender.
Are you kidding me? How did we tun celebrating young love into hate ???
In case you missed it, she was originally called gay in this article – as Autostraddle’s official twitter account later explained because they thought she was the “Jamie” from the tweet cited above in the article – and she had a huge rant over it. She deleted most of her tweets already, but in short she said just what I pointed out above, and she literally used words “fuck labels”.
So it makes it okay to call her obnoxious ? Assume things about her ? Attack her for making decisions about HER IDENTITY and how she chooses to identify ?!
How is that better than straight people telling us we’re only gay ’cause we haven’t had good dick or that bisexual women are just “people who can’t pick” or are greedy or promiscuous ?!!!
Listen after the second comment section talking about this and some commenters having this visceral reaction to the label vs. No label thing, I guess that a conversation could be useful (because yes labels can be useful) but I don’t think this post is the place for it. ALSO IT IS NEVER OK to attack someone especially belonging to the LGBTQ community for choosing or not choosing one label or another !!!
Second time here I emphasize that I have no problem that someone doesn’t want to label themselves. I have a problem when they try to preach that no one should label themselves, that labels are stupid and should be abandoned, that we’re lying to ourselves and are limiting ourselves by using them.
It sounds almost exactly the same as when homophobes insist lesbians just haven’t met the right guy, and actually, that kind of pseudo enlightened talk has been co-opted by many homophobic men.
But like she hasn’t done that so … ? She’s hasn’t preached, hasn’t said labels are stupid and should be abandoned…
She said “fuck labels” apparently, but ok when I say “fuck skirts” I don’t mean I think people who wear them are stupid, I just mean they make ME look stupid.
A person’s choice to use a label/not to use a label is entirely up to them… Don’t hate on someone for how they choose to identify.
It is a truly sensitive topic and while she may not have handled it well, when it comes to things as precious to us as our identities… we can get defensive. It was a legitimate misunderstanding and Heather and AS did an excellent job of correcting.
Except it’s people who say those things that try to imply something not only about their own sexuality, but about how EVERYONE should look at THEIR sexuality. “Fuck labels” is not personal. It’s a call to everyone to abandon “outdated” perceptions about sexuality that are “limiting” us all. I don’t need to mention how it sounds to those of us who are actually attracted only to one gender. It is erasing and policing our sexual orientation.
I think you’re reading way too much into what she has said in a couple of tweets and projecting stuff on her. She never said any of those things!
Like maybe she’s super confused cause she doesn’t know what to identify with she only knows she’s super into this other girl so she says “fucks labels”. Or maybe she’s thinking that labels can be used by the heteronormative patriarchal society as a way to control us and she refuses to participate in that, but has given herself a label that she only shares with her close friends / people within the LGBTQ community
OR MAYBE IT’S NONE OF THAT and she genuinely believes that labels suck and it’s STILL OK she’s STILL not saying that the labels we use for ourselves are meaningless !
Chloe – well, perhaps. After all you can’t express all your thoughts in few short tweets. My sexuality has been attacked and invalidated so many times by people seemingly coming from similar positions, so maybe I’ve read too much into it on that basis. I can’t check it again because those tweets have been deleted.
So if I misunderstood something I apologize.
And maybe the “fuck labels” attitude is an understandable knee-jerk reaction to the entire fucking universe that insists on slapping labels on everyone the second they do anything that steps outside the straight and narrow? Compassion and understanding goes both ways, and you are not showing any.
(P.S. No shade against Heather – I realize the original article title was based on a misunderstanding of one of her tweets.)
“Fuck labels” and “Labels aren’t for me” are obviously two very different sentiments. But she’s on twitter and she’s using it as a platform to stand up for herself and she used language in a way that maybe she shouldn’t have because it sounded kind of like a Call to Arms with twitter as the landscape to defeat labels. I can understand why to so many labels just seem harmful. It can take some different perspectives and experience to learn whether or not they are powerful and relevant for you and appreciate that your non-hetero experience is not the same as all non-hetero experiences.
“Fuck labels” may be a little immature.
But when I was 19 I used to say things like “If I was gay”–so who am I to judge.
Excuse me, you know nothing about me except for reacting negatively to words that are basically erasing my sexuality. And your instant reaction is to blame me for “the entire fucking universe that insists on slapping labels on everyone the second they do anything that steps outside the straight and narrow”, and you tell me that I’m a terrible person, lacking compassion and understanding.
You don’t know anything about my experiences with erasure of my sexuality. Or maybe you assume lesbians in homophobic eastern Europe countries don’t have such problems. But I see that in your eyes, it wouldn’t justify even a mild critique over words that have actually been stated. But the other side can say whatever they want, invalidate other sexualities as they please, and it’s all “understandable”.
I was not blaming you for that? I was blaming society.
I don’t know you well enough to know what kind of person you are. But I can certainly respond to the words you have chosen to use. You described her as “obnoxious”, which is a judgemental criticism that shows a lack of compassion or understanding for where she might be coming from. You want people to feel empathy for your struggles with erasure, but you do not seem to be willing to show any empathy for people’s struggles with having labels forced on them.
Chandra – but I don’t try to erase other people’s sexualities, so it’s not even good comparison.
I bet that if it was really symmetrical situation – some lesbian in similar way tried to push people into picking one of two options – no amount of excuse about society trying to erase 100% lesbians would prevent the call-out from queer people who are not exclusive in their preferences.
Ok, listen. I know that there are people who make broad statements about how we should all abandon labels, and I completely understand why that’s a problem.
But I genuinely do no think that was what was happening here. She said “fuck labels” in direct response to being labeled. She wasn’t talking about other people’s identities. She was defending her OWN.
I’m not sure I entirely catch the gist of your second point, but I can say for sure that many many people – lesbians and otherwise – do in fact try to push people into picking one of two options. Believe me, I’ve been on the receiving end of it more than once.
I think what is happening here is two groups of people who have been hurt in different ways are both reacting with strong emotions to things that are triggering their past hurt.
I remembered it as some preachy talk about sexuality in general, but TBH I can’t say with 100% certainty anymore what exactly she wrote, and I can’t check it again because she deleted those tweets, so maybe it is true I’ve read too much into it.
If it is so, I apologize. And even if not, as I think about it now, perhaps the reason for deletion was her quickly recognizing that such words are damaging.
I only saw the “fuck labels” comment so I don’t know what else she might have said either, but if she was generalizing to everyone then I agree that that’s not cool.
I apologize for coming across as too reactive in my first couple of comments – because of my own experiences, I get frustrated easily by this topic.
Hmmm… I definitely see what you are getting at, but find that is goes both ways. The great thing about it is you, myself, anyone else who is actually attracted to only one gender has the right to identify as we wish! In my opinion it’s the beautiful thing about the LGBTQ+ community.
We have to go to bat for one another, and she is not attacking anyone for their label. She is speaking out about how her own identity was represented.
Last thing I’ll say on this, and then I’ll leave it. Because I do understand your frustration, and it is completely legitimate.
However, responses like this are somewhat triggering to me. I had an extremely hard time accepting my identity and because of that, in the years during questioning it, I didn’t like labels.
I said screw it, I am more than my sexuality, I’m a friend, a daughter, a sister, a writer… and I like women. Upon entering a gay bar for the first time, I was greeted with “Fucking straight girls” and it was an extremely hurtful experience. Now, I identify as gay/lesbian… and the process of accepting and loving this label was one that took YEARS. So please, be a little more thoughtful before calling someone else “one of those obnoxious young people”… As Chloe stated, we have no idea what was going through her mind as she wrote those things.
I don’t have any problem with her not identifying as gay or not picking any label (though I won’t lie I was a little disappointed, since there are not many out gay actresses), but I have a problem with what she said later, which wasn’t reserved only to her own sexuality and does affect in small way my sexuality as well.
I respect you as long as you respect me, that’s my philosophy.
One more thing – I thought second part of my original comment made it clear that I don’t mean that all people who don’t claim any label are obnoxious, but only those who think it makes them better and more “enlightened” than those who do. But apparently I failed, for which I’m sorry.
No worries. Nuance is hard to convey on the Internet. And I get that this can be an issue for you and other people, and that it produces a lot of complex feelings.
Like I said, I do feel that this is a theme that we need to explore and have a respectful discussion around. You’re right, there IS a tendency among certain people, and it does produce effects (some negative, some positive).
AS editors, could we maybe have a roundtable on the topic ?
Also going back on my comments I feel like the tone of them seem a bit condescending and I apologise for that. Asking for respectful conversation and then acting like this is super hypocritical, so I’m sorry.
Hey, I completely understand and appreciate your apology. Just as we have no idea what was going through her mind when she wrote that, I also have no idea what kinds of effect hearing something like “fuck labels” had on you. And I’m sure it was super hurtful.
So accept my apology for yet another misunderstanding. Hah!
It is such a complex question… and understanding and acceptance needs to be present on both sides. I second the idea behind a round table discussion!
Strongly thirding the suggestion for a respectful roundtable discussion on labels!
There was a labels open thread not that long ago! :-)
Thanks for the link. That’s a good article (that I’m sad I missed out on while I was in self-imposed Internet exile) but it’s still missing some things that I would like to see addressed, and I’m having a bit of difficulty articulating exactly what they are. Maybe I should just go write something myself.
Reading the discussion generated by this comment was so inspiring. Everyone apologized! Everyone explained where they were coming from. Everyone took the time to really look at the matter at hand through the other person’s eyes. And everyone acknowledged the degree to which they were reacting to past hurts. Only on Autostraddle!!! I am so happy and proud of you all for working through this in such a -yes, really – enlightened way. Bravo!! <3
I think all’s well that ends well here. It was an easy misunderstanding based on a tweet she made that was actually a quote, and the last thing Brianna’s twitter says now is “sorry I ranted, it’s a great article.”
I get that labels aren’t for everyone, and I know that those of us who like labels often feel passionately that they are still useful and necessary. But here I hope we can give her the benefit of the doubt that when she said “fuck labels,” it was a knee-jerk reaction to being mis-labeled in the press, not a sweeping statement about identity politics.
I get it that people are offended and hurt but MY GOD this GIRL IS 19 YEARS OLD!!!!!!!!!! Please, sweet lesbian Jesus! I didn’t even know my left from my right at 19.
I was dating a gun-toting Republican dude at nineteen. All of his glasses were beer glasses. All he ate were frozen burritos. I still get a little claustrophobic now when I think of frozen burritos.
Consistently Reasonable Award
where and when did she say fuck labels?
In a tweet in response to this article (which originally said she was gay) that has since been deleted.
Okay she may not have defined a label for herself out loud to the mass public but she is proud and in love with a Real Life Girlfriend. It’s not some Hey Maybe One Day I Could Maybe Be Into A Girl IDK So Don’t Label Me Pls situation.
So, one of us. Totally.
Continues chanting: ONE OF US * ONE OF US * ONE OF US
So nothing to do with this article, but omg i love your profile picture!!
ehhhhhhhhhh I feel so uncomfortable with this comment, and it’s not really the commenter’s fault, but is because I’m having a really hard time in this area personally (with myself). As someone who grew up painfully conservative christian and didn’t even start to accept that I might be bi/pansexual until I was 19, I still struggle with whether or not my attractions are “valid,” and so I’ve gone through times when I felt uber comfortable with identifying as bi and times when I’ve felt uber unsure and probably would have said something like “Hey Maybe One Day I Could Maybe…etc” if I was really pressed about it. So I kind of… want to leave those people alone, too?
but maybe I’m just not one of you? and maybe I should just be okay with that? Idk. this is all really stressful.
So do you guys think she reads AS
God I hope she isn’t reading this comment section
See this is why we must ‘be the comment section we wish to see in the world’
OMG What did you do today cause this is your secret when you give an acceptance speech for the comment awards you can give that secret away okay
I hope she is reading this comment section. What other website do readers get this engaged and moderate and apologise, un-prompted, themselves within the comment sections. Everyone seemed eloquent in their “arguments and the heated nature was created from people being passionate about their intelligent comments and writing in haste before apologising for how they may have been misconstrued.
The Onion headline writes itself: “On the Internet, Nothing Is Ever NBD”
JUST TAKE ALL THE COMMENT AWARDS OKAY
Kind of reminds me of what Holland Taylor said, something like “I haven’t come out because I live out” right? Into it! Here’s to sidestepping the closet.
“Over the last few weeks, she’s just casually started talking about her girlfriend on Twitter, like NBD, no need for some kind of orchestrated coming out. ”
I really wished you would have stopped there because it would have felt like somebody finally gets it, but you continued.
“No need to pretend she’s straight, or to just be silent about her sexuality.”
It would be nice if sites like these could understand being silent about your sexuality isn’t some insult to the community. It’s a choice to remain private. Nobody owes us a big announcement or any mention of their sexuality tbh. And being silent is in no way pretending to be straight.
There’s a difference between Michelle Rodriguez vehemently denying being queer (to where it felt a bit homophobic for a little while there) for YEARS just to pretend like it’s no big deal when she finally decides to go public and Queen Latifah refusing to talk about her sexuality, but never hiding her girlfriends either. There’s a difference between closeted and private.
There’s nothing wrong with being private, but if all queer celebrities are private about their sexuality or relationships, while straight ones are not, then it is so freaking reasonable of us to be a bit disappointed – and be happy and surprised when the opposite happens!
*Dances in a circle* I knew I knew it I knew it
As soon as the negasonic teenage warhead promo pics came out I was like ? because the character is straight *cough* up a baby butch lesbian. God, I hope they slip something into the next movie where Deadpool is like “who are you texting? your boyyyfriend?” and N.T.W. rolls her eyes and corrects “girlfriend” and then Deadpool makes some joke about swinging that way himself sometimes.
Some more fun facts about Brianna “Love of My Life” Hildebrand: she was in an indie film about teenage girls in love that has yet to be released.
Also, I’m pretty sure the butch girl in half of her pictures on instagram (who is kissing her in one pic) is probably her gf if anyone is curious. (but who knows)
This is my favorite comment on any thread ever. Thank you.
I knew it, she totes pinged the gaydar! Yay!
Ok, I have an honest question and I do apologized if anybody consider this offensive, but the no-label wording isn’t an oxymoron? Kinda like when somebody declares herself as apolitical/nonpolitical?
I mean, obviously it’s unavoidable to use words if you want to express to people that you don’t want to be constrained by words because we don’t currently have the capacity to communicate via telepathic kaleidoscope patterns or whatever. But I’d call it more of a catch-22 than an oxymoron, kind of like how people sometimes have to go further into debt by going back to school in order to get a better job to get out of debt. Can you explain further your comparison with someone being apolitical/nonpolitical?
I think calling it a catch-22 is spot on. being apolitical is a political choice, so even choosing not to be interested is a part of the very thing you don’t care about. :p
Please quote me someone who actually said they identify as no-label.
It doesn’t happen. No one says that.
They may say that they don’t like labels, they don’t want to label themselves, labels suck, or they hate labels. That’s not an oxymoron.
No one identifies as no-label. They just don’t take a label.
Then when people report on it or talk about it they use that term in the third person. Then they use quotes around the term implying that the person actually said it about themselves when they never did.
So no-label is what people call others who don’t take a label.
If you do find someone who self identifies as no label…that shit makes no sense. But I doubt you’ll find anyone
She is also in the best coming of age lesbian film I have seen since SHOW ME LOVE. It’s called THE FIRST GIRL I LOVED and you’ll want to run, not walk when it’s released.
I wish the had more trans-gender TV and movies. it may just be me. I think that we educate the USA and the world that maybe less hate. and less hate with in the community or less misunderstanding too. I think people being open enough to “come Out” is a great thing But if we can also be safe too. Most of the world hates LGBTQAI this should not be either. Love is more powerful than hate. both are strong emotions but ultimately everyone needs love not everyone needs hate. if the makes sense.
Hooray! Good for her. =)
The url address for this article still matches the original article title.
she is so pretty i am so happy for her! it might be the wine but im crying actual tears that this is possible wow. there are so many beautiful people in the world. I am just so happy this is a thing that is happening/can happen. kinda reminds me of how i accidentally came out to my papa, no warning, ya know? But there was a shower involved. and a girl. I dont wanna give too much tmi but yeah. So beautiful. So happy. So wonderful. You all are so great. big hugs to anyone who wants them!
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so jealous but happy for her and everyone who is free to be themselves. Don’t know if I’ll ever get that chance. Surrounded by the most ignorant homophobes it just sickens me. Love to you all.
Good publish, stick with it..!
good d everyone who is free to be themselves. Don’t know if I’ll ever get that chance. Surrounded by the most ignorant homophobes it just sickens me. Love to you all.
I think it’s perfectly alright. Brianna Hildebrand is doing everything perfectly.
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Okay she may not have defined a label for herself out loud to the mass public but she is proud and in love with a Real Life Girlfriend.
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