I don't know if you guys have got that feeling too, but the discussion of social issues on social media as well as pop culture has never been more present than in 2015.
Whether it was Miley Cyrus's experimentation of her gender identity and sexual expression, Caitlyn Jenner's public transition to female or Johnny Depp's 16-year-old daughter coming out as gender fluid, traditional ideas around sex and gender are being challenged by more and more celebs.
I decided to group several things including gender fluidity, transgender issues and sexual fluidity under the banner 'gender expression, identity and orientation'. If there are any falsehoods or inconsistencies in my theoretical understandings, then please feel free to correct me as this should be a constructive learning experience for all.
So here's the list of 8 celebrities who spoke about their trans* identity, gender fluidity and sexual fluidity in 2015.
Ever since 'We Can't Stop', Miley has had a noticeable revolution both in terms of pop image and in herself, all the while distancing herself from the Hannah Montana persona. The 22-year-old has transitioned into a provocative pop star who is not afraid to speak candidly about issues such as sex, gender and identity.
2015 saw Miley come out as gender fluid. The 'Bangerz' star commented:
"I'm just even. It has nothing to do with any parts of me or how I dress or how I look. It's literally just how I feel."
Miley's dedication to various strands of the LGBT community has been demonstrated in several ways. Firstly, the star has set up the Happy Hippie Foundation that is a non-profit organisation that helps young people whose minority sexual orientation and/or minority gender identity put them at risk.
Miley has also performed with drag queens at the VMAs, and has partaken in photo shoots that in my belief, celebrate queer culture and non-heteronormative practices.
As far as transgender rights and issues, Caitlyn Jenner's coming out and highly publicised transition to female have made 2015 a year of trans* awareness like no other in popular culture.
Caitlyn has spoken out about the seriousness of why talking about trans* issues is so important:
"It's not this way for everybody. The suicide rate [for transgender people] is nine times higher. People are dying over this issue."
I also really like this quote:
"I think I look like me."
Caitlyn's ever evolving story may have its small bumps along the way, but overall, it has been one hell of an inspiring ride. It's wonderful to see someone who in later life decided it was time to live their truth and be the happiest they could be.
As far as I'm aware, Jaden Smith is actually cis (where his gender is in alignment with his biological sex). Despite this, as a young man in the public eye, in many ways he has no problem flouting traditional gender norms.
Do you remember how amazing Jaden looked at his prom? Wearing a longer dress garment that definitely challenges the age-old and rather stale 'suit and tie'.
For many people whose gender identity or expression break out of traditional gender norms, one of the fundamental things they would like to see, is just acknowledgement of their existence.
Sounds a bit silly perhaps, but think about children's toys, signs on toilet doors, and expressions like 'Ladies and Gentleman'. That is why Ruby Rose saying the following was an important deal at the MTV Awards:
“Ladies and gentleman and everyone in between.”
Ruby Rose herself identifies as gender fluid not really feeling completely like a boy or a girl.
Lily-Rose Depp proved that although millennials may have an unhealthy dependence on social media as well as a chronic laziness, when it comes to social issues like gender, many of us approach the matter with an open mindedness like no generation before.
Her coming out happened on her Instagram for the 'self evident project' with this great photo and inspiring accompanying message:
Johnny Depp must be so proud of his daughter use her platform to help her fellow teen followers realise that they way they are is okay and should be celebrated.
Laverne Cox, who is a black trans woman, has always spoken on the topic of gender with such grace and eloquence. Once the Orange is the New Black star denounced the term 'role model' being applied to her, preferring 'possibility model':
'I hate the term "role model". It's presumptuous to think that anyone should model their life after you, but I do like the term possibility model.'
The star also talked about the pride she feels in her womanhood and trans identity:
'Even in good lighting I'm an obviously transgender person,' she said. 'I have a deep voice, I have broad shoulders, I have big hands, I have big feet. I don't think any of those things make me less of a woman.'
Laverne is a smart lady and she uses her platform to always draw attention toserious statistics
, such as the alarming amount of trans woman of colour who have been murdered this year.
Continue your leading example, Laverne!
Similarly to Ruby Rose, Alan Cumming's speech at the 2015 Tony Awards was also inclusive.
Kristen Stewart who is bisexual has opened up about how sexual orientation can also be very fluid. Check out her really nicely articulated comment:
"Fluid has no fixed shape, but it still has a fixed volume and consistency. So it may be with fluid sexuality—just because a person may prefer men right now doesn't mean that will hold true for the rest of their life or even the rest of the week."
In a lot of ways, fluidity in terms of gender identity, gender expression and sexual orietnation is a very free-ing concept.
Hopefully the more celebrities talk about these issues (especially the younger celebrities of the millennial generation who seem to eschew labels more than any generation before), the more the general public will be able to embrace the freedom of not having to put oneself in a box, brings!