No, Vogue. Cara Delevingne is Not Going Through a Phase

Cara Delevingne has spoken openly for the first time about her attraction to women, and her relationship with Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent), in the problematic pages of Vogue. What should have been a moment of celebration for the model now living her dream of acting, was twisted by suspicion that her feelings are ‘just a phase’.

Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, is now being petitioned to make a public apology for the article, in which Cara pours her heart out to her interviewer Rob Haskell, telling him how she feared being gay as a child, and eventually came to accept it when she fell in love with a woman at 20. Haskell’s written response was, ‘Her parents seem to think girls are just a phase for Cara, and they may be correct.’ He goes on to say, ‘When I suggest to Cara that to trust a man, she might have to revise an old and stubborn idea of hers—that women are perennially troubled and therefore only women will accept her—her smile says she concedes the point.’

And on and on it spirals, crashing into almost every misconception flung at gay women along the way. We crazy chicks helplessly cling to each other, and if we’re ever to find true happiness with a “nice guy”, we just need to get over it. As soon as we do, that coveted “right man” will come along and cure us of our queerness. ‘Those who have been gathering the crumbs on Cara’s romantic trail may be confused about whether it’s men or women who excite her’, says Haskell, as though being bi isn’t even a thing.

Julie Rodriguez, who set up the Care2 petition, points out that such insensitive attitudes ‘can cause depression, result in families rejecting their daughters (or forcing them into abusive conversion “therapy”), and even put young women at risk of suicide.’ Cara not only shared her past struggles with her sexuality, but also with depression and self-loathing. She said “I think being in love with my girlfriend is a big part of why I’m feeling so happy with who I am these days”, but Haskell brought it upon himself to suggest that by feeling happy, she is deceiving herself. Taking his comments to heart could have put her emotional health at risk, yet he even made the (likely wrong) assumption that her smile equaled agreement.

The fact that Rodriguez’ petition is now close to reaching 16,000 signatures puts people like Rob Haskell in their place. Vogue’s ignored opportunity to commend Cara for her honesty has thankfully opened up another for thousands more to show their support, both for her and the whole LGBT community. Her rumoured ex-girlfriend Michelle Rodriguez responded to Cara’s coming out by simply saying “you go girl!” And so it should be for everyone. With yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling making gay marriage legal throughout the US, we were reminded that love wins. But to those who’d rather convince themselves
otherwise, hey, keep thinking it’s all just a phase.

Words by Beth O’Neill

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