Kristen Stewart Isn’t Straight: Actress Addresses Sexuality Rumors, Says “I’m Not Hiding”

Sullen wolf goddess and noted poet laureate Kristen Stewart graces the glamorous cover of Nylon Magazine this month. In an uncharacteristically candid interview, Stewart addresses how uncomfortable she is being the subject of tabloid speculation, while giving this tabloid plenty to speculate about. The star explains that she toes the line between not caring at all about what people think and keeping her private life private; while she refuses to discuss the status of her relationship with ex-boyfriend Robert “Sparklevamp” Pattinson, she opens up more than she ever has about her very close friendship with Alicia Cargile.

For months, tabloids have been speculating about the pair, who hold hands in public, vacation together, and purportedly live together. Rags like the UK’s Daily Mail regularly refer to Cargile as Stewart’s “gal pal,” and make guarded remarks about how nice it is that the two are such good friends. Kristen Stewart’s been raked over the coals by tabloids for her relationship drama in the past, and she’s never been the kind of celebrity to revel in that sort of attention. She’s always seemed to find such publicity agonizing, and has displayed an (awesome) give-no-fucks attitude towards the paparazzi. She owes us nothing.

Exactly.

Exactly.

While tooling around Echo Park in her own car full of clothes and junk with a journalist (so down-to-earth!), Stewart laments the “weekly comic book” aspect of tabloid journalism and wishes she wouldn’t be so recognizable in public. However, when asked about her sexuality, Kristen responds: “Google me, I’m not hiding.”

This is the “I think it’s pretty obvious who I’m seeing” of the Stewart-Cargile era. Praise the heavens.

Pressed further, Stewart explains, “If you feel like you really want to define yourself, and you have the ability to articulate those parameters and that in itself defines you, then do it. But I am an actress, man. I live in the fucking ambiguity of this life and I love it. I don’t feel like it would be true for me to be like, ‘I’m coming out!’ No, I do a job. Until I decide that I’m starting a foundation or that I have some perspective or opinion that other people should be receiving…I don’t. I’m just a kid making movies… I think in three or four years, there are going to be a whole lot more people who don’t think it’s necessary to figure out if you’re gay or straight. It’s like, just do your thing.”

Kristen Stewart respectably does not care even one bit what this column thinks about her relationship, nor does she feel the need to define it for us – and that’s awesome. It’s exciting to see an actress with her level of visibility acknowledge that sexuality can be fluid, and that it isn’t a big deal. It’s commonplace nowadays for celebrities to offer every single aspect of their lives for public consumption, and Stewart refuses to do that. I am a monster for writing this article right now. Kristen, I’m sorry I’m like this.

The September issue of Nylon is out Aug 25, and includes other fun tidbits like this bit about Joan Jett teaching Kristen guitar on the set of The Runaways: “If I wasn’t fully feeling it, she’d walk to the end of whatever set or stage I was on and be like, ‘Kristen, pussy to the wood!'” I never thought about what it would be like to get guitar lessons from Joan Jett, but now I can’t stop thinking about it.

Kristen Stewart, you don’t need us! You don’t need any of us! BE FREE.

Stef Schwartz is a founding member and the self-appointed Vapid Fluff Editor at Autostraddle.com. She currently resides in New York City, where she spends her days writing songs nobody will ever hear and her nights telling much more successful musicians what to do. Follow her on twitter and/or instagram.

Stef has written 429 articles for us.

71 Comments

    • Gosh darn it, I just realised I missed the opportunity for a quadruple score of alliteration by adding in Sullen. I could have called the corners in the name of alliteration….

  1. I both love and hate this.I’m all for privacy and coming out in your own time and not labeling yourself if you don’t want to but at the same time stuff like this half peeves me off.

    Obviously being a celebrity puts A LOT of pressure on your personal life and it’s normal to want to conceal parts of your life from the public but I’m of the opinion that the more celebrities come out or admit to queer relationships the better.

    The amount of visibility this girl receives is immense, if she is convinced that in three or four years time it won’t matter you could have said “I am seeing this person but I don’t like to label myself”,for example.

    “Google me, I’m not hiding” is and isn’t confirming her relationship. I don’t think saying but kind of not saying is a huge thing to celebrate.

    WE might understand what she’s saying and be happy but the general straight public won’t acknowledge that AT ALL. I feel like that leads to a lot of relationships to be labeled “phases”. Obviously it’s not her chore to solve that but I feel like a lot of people can help out with that.

    I wanna be like “Yeah! Awesome!” but I have a bunch of mixed feels about this one.

    • Yeah, that’s kind of my feeling too. While I truly want people to be able to do whatever they want and I feel for Kristen’s situation (one that I wouldn’t want to be in) but this always feels like an excuse for the regular media to ignore/rewrite/erase queerness. I can’t imagine being queer in the public eye, but it would be disingenuous of me if I didn’t admit I wish she would make it clear enough for the dunderheads at the Daily Mail to call Cargill her girlfriend, not her ‘gal pal’.

      • I thought her point though was that it *is* clear unless you are in total denial, in which case its not her job to explain to you how being queer works. She’s saying, “this girl is so obviously dating me that I don’t understand why this is even something that needs to be addressed.” she doesn’t need to come out of the closet formally because she’s not closeted. And she doesn’t need to put her sexuality into a simple term that you can quantify and hold onto.
        I’m not a k-stew fan in general, but I am all about this article.

        • That’s how I read it too. If the media treated queer relationships the same way they did hetero ones, she wouldn’t have even been asked the sexuality question because she isn’t hiding. It’s got to be more than a little annoying to have the media act like you’re in a closet that you’re not actually in.

          I’ve come pretty close to dropping a line about googling me to a few people lately who somehow missed the coming out memo and acted like I was closeted, so I can relate. I mean, if you Google me you’ll no I’m queer within five seconds, influential religious right leaders know I’m queer, but somehow people I’ve known for years thought I was being dodgy about my sexuality. It would be even more annoying to be a celebrity who is doing anything but hiding and yet people keep acting like you’re closeted.

          • “It’s got to be more than a little annoying to have the media act like you’re in a closet that you’re not actually in.” Yes, yes, yes!!

    • I just don’t get people. She’s not hiding and that is more than enough to be positive for our community. If she were a normal person carrying on like that with someone you would assume that person were in a romantic relationship, because it is the only logical assumption unless that person is like that with all their friends. Give me a break. She doesn’t owe anyone a detailed explanation of her sexual orientation. If she were hiding and playing coy fine, but telling people to google her is not ambiguous. Not unless you have vision problems.

      • Umm, as I said I don’t think she should have to define her sexual orientation. She’s chosen not to label herself and that’s fine. Her dating a woman doesn’t actually give us her sexual orientation. I don’t want a detailed explanation of her sexual orientation.

        I don’t think many in the queer community would have a problem assuming she is dating her. I assume that. I am saying that most of the public will not assume that.

    • I feel this, but I also really feel the unfairness of the burden that is placed on queer women to make personal choices that support queer visibility etc. It sucks that our relationships get labeled as phases, but it also sucks that the responsibility is put on us (as queer women) to fix that. First and foremost, people being homophobic/biphobic/etc. is what leads to relationships being labeled as “phases”… not one woman’s choice about how she talks about her relationship.

      I agree, though, “I’m seeing this person but I don’t like to label myself” would have been nice to hear. All else being equal, I do believe we should make choices that support the goals of the queer community (communities). But I’m willing to give KStew the benefit of the doubt that there are various factors going into her decision and that she has valid reasons for making it.

      Ruric, I’m not trying to say you’re not respecting her decision – these are just some things I wanted to say on this topic. 🙂

    • You know something..I’m good. I can’t get excited about this particular sitch. Look at the girl K-Stews dating..maybe she has like a really sexy voice or something but…I just don’t get it. That’s why ‘Stew doesn’t want to “define” shit; it’s the same difference with a slight twist, whats the point.I’m sorry, but (as more of a “femme4femme”) that bores me. Nothing wrong with it…just seen it a billion times. Samantha Ronson was cuter than friggin Alicia Cargile. Even Ellen Paige’s taste is lacking. Nothing truly excitings come up since Heard and Moening.

    • tbh I dont expect actors to do…anything.
      They have the money as well as some other intersecting privileges that cause their inaction. And, most people don’t really see the lives actors live as a practical pathway for visibility. Like, these actors and pop musicians can live any life they want because they are seen as the wildest occupation anyway. We shouldn’t expect vulnerable life discussions from people who’s job is to entertain in a shroud of mystery.

      We need more teachers and doctors coming out. More business owners, CEOs. Even people who work with entertainers like writers, show-runners, producers etc. People in power, senators, mayors. Everyday essential people like plumbers and electricians. These people have a more real world application to living queer life that can show straight and queer people that it’s possible to be happy and gay in real life and be successful, and that we are in fact, everywhere.

  2. I get this. I love this. I felt the exact same way – I didn’t feel the need to come out. If someone in my life who once knew me as straight would ask me if I was gay, I’d say, “I guess I’m more interested in hearing why it matters to you, rather than me having to explain my sexual preference.” Because I don’t owe anyone an explanation on why I’m dating who I am. I’d rather someone assume I was one thing and me correct them if need be. Done it many times and I’m sure I will continue to do so. Go KS!

  3. I feel that a lot of the resistance by young queer women in the media to label their sexualities has to do with the fact that, according to Hollywood, they need to be seen by male audiences as “fuckable” if they want to continue to have careers. I think that saying that they’re “fluid”, or neither confirming nor denying their same-sex relationships, is a sort of compromise. That way, they can continue to feed male fantasies while quietly acknowledging their queerness.

      • I’m sorry if my reply sounded dismissive of fluidity! That wasn’t my intention. I’m not saying that sexual fluidity doesn’t exist, or that it was a thing started by celebrities. But I think that the term allows a sort of leniency that a definitive label such as “gay” may not. Just have a look at the message boards on Ellen Page’s imdb page in the wake of her coming out: so many bitter threads by douchey fuckboys who suddenly decided that her gayness makes her unattractive, less of a draw. But these dudes CAN still fantasize about an actress who says she’s “fluid”, because in their minds, they could still have a shot at her, so to speak.

        While I agree with you that KStew doesn’t seem like the type to care about feeding into the fantasies of young men, I’m sure as hell her team does.

        • Nina, I completely agree with your point about Ellen Page and fuckboy douchiness. But it sucks that this then leads us to devalue/question women’s choices about how to talk about their sexuality. I think criticism should focus on the fact that gayness “makes celebrities unattractive”, NOT on the questioning how one celebrity chooses to describe or not describe her sexuality. Because that does undermine the validity of fluid and unlabeled orientations.

          Like, you can say that being unlabeled is more acceptable to the male gaze without saying “maybe this person is just unlabeled in order to appeal to the male gaze”, you know? I feel like it’s similar to suggesting that a bi woman is only bi to please men.

      • @creatrixtiara yeah. *points to self too*

        I think unfortunately both can be true, sexual fluidity is a real thing that many of us experience, AND there is pressure for female celebrities to maintain an image of being potentially fuckable by men. I think we can talk about that pressure without invalidating fluid/ambiguous sexual orientations (or the choice to keep one’s sexuality private), but it makes me uncomfortable when those conversations turn into skepticism about a particular person’s choice of how to identify. I agree with Jessie that kstew deserves the benefit of the doubt, and I find it hurtful that particular kinds of sexuality (unlabeled, fluid, bi/pan/queer) are automatically subject to scrutiny about whether they’re just catering to the male gaze.

    • She may not even be sexually fluid. She may just not want to have a detailed conversation about her sexuality. She has pubically dated a man. Coming out would involve probing questions about her past relationships that may feel uncomfortable to her or disrespectful to past relationships. Wanting privacy doesn’t equal caring about appealing to men. Not everything is about men. It’s amazing that even on autostraddle that that is the default assumption. I think you should give her the benefit of the doubt.

      And I’m not even that biphobic to suggest that fluid orientations are only about appeal.

      • Agreed. She is in the tabloids every week. She’s thought about exactly how she’s going to phrase this to a reporter and her phrasing intentionally did not do anything to discount her past relationships, it only quietly acknowledged her relationship without giving it a label. Can you imagine what would happen if she had given a statement that indicated she was not sexually fluid or into men? The headlines would read KRISTEN TO ROB: OUR LOVE IS WAS A LIE. there would be soooo much more gossip about her and Robert pattinson’s relationship. The way she did it was smart, she didn’t inadvertently comment on any of her past relationships and she didn’t label herself. She’s clearly trying to be chill about this.

      • Whoa, I totally give her the benefit of the doubt. If my first comment read as biphobic, I apologize. If you read the second one I made, I clarify that I was not intending to be dismissive of less clearly defined orientations or undermine them. I respect people’s choices to label (or not label) their sexualities in any way they wish. I was not suggesting that Stewart herself is being ambiguous because SHE’s consciously thinking, “Okay, I need to keep my fanboys happy, so I’ll be label-free”, but I’m sure that there still is a lot of pressure on her by her team to talk about her sexuality in a certain way. She could be fluid, or she may exclusively be into women, but the point I was trying to make was that I feel that it’s “safer” career-wise for young queer celebrities not to be definitive about their sexuality whether or not it’s definable, and that’s something that should be addressed, I think.

      • While I totally agree with you, I think “the male gaze” gets thrown in even here cause it’s a big weigh in studio execs conversations. I honestly don’t think KStew gives a fuck about it but since she has to be marketable, she has to appeal to wide audiences and for some reason, men play a disproportionate part. Since major studio execs seem to think “the audience” is super stupid and put everyone in the same bag, they put the bar really low. I read somewhere (might have been on AE) that Amber Heard has had trouble getting cast since she came out as bi. Cause I guess studio execs think that impacts the box office, idk. So unfortunately, i think it’s something that still matters even though the whole concept is completely ridiculous.

        Also, pubically… nice 😉

    • A celebrity’s constructed image is very different than an individual person’s identity. Celebrities are in the business of selling themselves, with publicists and manager and whole teams devoted to making sure that this person becomes more notable and makes more money.

      It is appropriate to analyze why celebrities make the choices they do in describing themselves to the public and completely different than questioning how someone who is actually in front of you describes themselves. Everything is life may not be about men, but the people who might pay Kristen millions of dollars to be in a movie certainly are more concerned with the straight male point of view. And straight guys are going to find her more fuckable if she refuses to identify than if she says she’s gay.

      Pointing that out is not biphobic.

      • It’s different, but there is still an individual person’s identity in the picture.

        I agree that it’s appropriate to analyze the choices celebrities make in constructing an image in light of homophobia and the marketing of female sexuality, but I think it would be more appropriate here if there were specific reason to think that KStew is gay and is hiding it. If she later comes out as gay, or gives more reason to think that’s the case, we can analyze the fuck out of why that was not made explicit before. I also think it’s appropriate to analyze overall trends in how celebrities talk about their sexuality, and valid to point out that there is likely a trend towards not declaring a sexuality that excludes men.

        But I feel like what you’re suggesting is that if a female celebrity comes out as gay that’s legit, but if she comes out as bisexual/unlabeled/ambiguous it is always appropriate to cast doubt on that. And the impact of that goes beyond one celebrity being overscrutinized; it perpetuates the idea that non-clear-cut sexual orientations are inherently more appropriate to skepticism and scrutiny. That coming out as queer-but-not-explicitly-gay-or-lesbian is less good.

        At least that is how it feels to me, although I recognize that this is a complex issue and I think there is validity in multiple perspectives here. Again, I fully support having conversations about the pressure to remain “open” to men, but I think there are ways to do so that are less invalidating to in-the-middle sexualities. Likewise, I would not want to approach someone (celebrity or otherwise) coming out as lesbian by saying “maybe she’s just saying that because of biphobia”.

        Thanks for listening.

        • I honestly think Kristen Stewart was just saying “look, I’m not hiding, but it’s also not in my job description to reveal myself to you.” She’s always rejected the idea that being an actor goes beyond the self-revealing that you do onscreen.

          We’ve come a long way since Jodie Foster’s old closet days. I don’t think Kristen tries to avoid labeling herself from a place of fear. I think she just doesn’t want to feed the paparazzi monsters.

  4. Ok, I love her, but… she didn’t actually say with words from her mouth that she’s not straight. She didn’t even confirm that she’s in a relationship with Alice. All she said was that she likes ambiguity.

    If these things are so obvious, what would be the harm in dropping a casual “my girlfriend” or something in there, KStew?

  5. Kstew’s approach to ambiguity as something she revels in because it’s pretty much her life’s work is SO SO SO much the way I operate that I’m SO GLAD someone else said it. It’s hard to find people who actually live in ambiguity, let alone celebrates it, and it’s such a difficult experience to try to explain to people. This is heartening.

  6. For all the people out there demanding like, a detailed novel of all the ways k-stew identifies (and all the other celebrities), it should really only be the business of whomever is invited to her pants party.

  7. At least the author seems to get the irony of the article. Were you forced by editors to write this? Or did you just hold your nose and take the plunge? Or some of both?

  8. the “gal pal” label is totally weird and straight tiptoeing, but am I wrong in assuming that publishers have picked that word as a work around for accusations of libel? I feel like people have been sued for claiming that someone is gay before, and while they picked a real bizarre term for it, I can understand why they wouldn’t want to open themselves up for lawsuits.

  9. facepalm on the concern about kristen’s sexuality. if alicia is a phase, shes a phase. if alicia is the one, shes the one. kristen is not in charge with the queer community. when kristen fake cheated on rob, kristen faced the backlash. kristen didnt pass it on to us. kristen only represents kristen and thats that.

  10. Literally 60% of bisexual female celebrities say their sexuality is “just fluid” and that we live in a post-gay world were labels are for soup cans, this is not new or refreshing or progressive. Women with so much wealth and power just don’t want to be seen as being part of our community because they don’t want to lose that wealth and power, there’s honestly nothing to celebrate about this.

    • I don’t agree – as a person who relates as very much a part of the queer community but shies away from the label “lesbian,” I think it’s very cool that she’s acknowledging sexual fluidity without feeling like she has to define herself.

    • A lot of bisexual people also call their sexuality fluid because you get people judging when you date men that “oh, it was just a phase” and when you date women “ok, so you were actually gay all along”.

      Not to mention the biphobia regarding bi women that is terribly rampant among lesbians. It’s not about not wanting to be seen as part of the community, it’s about trying to prevent people (straight or gay) bitching at you because according to them you’re making the wrong choice.

    • Annnd a lot of people have fluid sexuality.

      And if bisexuals distance themselves, it has nothing to do with wealth and power, anyway: both queer and straight people have no time for bisexuality, pansexuality, etc. ESPECIALLY, and viciously, the GLBTQ community. Is there an incentive?

  11. Given her very valid point about choosing what to share, I feel almost bad participating in this conversation. I’m all for people owning their agency, saying screw you to “put yourself in a box” culture. I’m only a recent passenger on the K-Stew admiration train, but damn girl is killing it.

  12. I think it’s no one’s business what she is up to in the bedroom, wether it’s permanent or temporary, but she is also letting everyone know that whatever she is doing she is not hiding it, ish.

    After all the tabloid drama that she’s had to face, I think she’s just tired of having to give explanations and is playing it safe with her private life, in all aspects including her sexuality.

    And I agree with what she said that as long as she is not embarking in some foundation, organisation, or anything to do with the general public besides acting, she really has no reason to explain anything to us. Not her, not any actor or actress.

  13. Hm, for the folks who are wishing kristen would just ‘come out and say it’, it seems you missed her point–and Stef’s: she doesn’t owe us anything.

    I love yr Kstew coverage, Stef!

  14. I think a lot of the critique here is also missing the part of it where she says “if you…have the ability to articulate that definition” as well as her implicit critique of people being requested to decide.

    To me, there’s a very clear indication that she does not, and does not care to, have one thing she’s labeling herself — whether that’s gay, bi, pansexual, whatever — and doesn’t see that as a large part of her identity. Media representation is great, but I don’t think this has anything to do with remaining fuckable, hireable, etc. It’s inherently intolerant to decide someone has ulterior motives when they say very clearly that they don’t interrogate their own sexuality.

    And she’s right. She’s an actress. She did not somehow sign up to provide us with the details of her sex life or diet or be a spokesperson or date someone hot TO US. She isn’t required to give us “stars are just like us: they also have alternative lifestyle haircuts!” feelings. If we relate to her in any way that’s not a character on screen, that’s on us unless we personally know her.

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.