Gina Vaynshteyn
May 13, 2015 2:39 pm

“Yes. Many times,” is the answer Cate Blanchett gives when Variety asks if she’s had romantic relationships with women. In the interview about her new movie Carol (an indie drama about two women who fall in love with each other in a not-so progressive era), Blanchett discusses her role as Carol, the film’s lead, as well as her own sexual orientation. Blanchett, who is married to playwright Andrew Upton, tells the magazine that she, like Carol, doesn’t use labels to define her orientation.

“I never thought about it. I don’t think Carol thought about it. …I think there are a lot of people that exist like that who don’t feel the need to shout things from the rafters,” Blanchett said.

It’s a simple answer, but it’s an answer that contains multitudes. Because in this very moment, Blanchett succinctly reminds us that sexuality can be fluid, that it’s natural—and that it’s never, ever cause for shame or judgement.

Blanchett is actually one of many famous women opening up—and educating the label-happy press—about fluid sexual orientation. If you recall, Anna Paquin (who has been grilled numerous times about being bisexual) explained that gender has nothing to do with her attraction to humans. “My sexuality is not made up…it’s not about gender. That’s not the deciding factor to who they’re attracted,” Paquin said. And just last week, Miley Cyrus went on the record and said she’s been romantically involved with both men and women, refusing to put a label on her sexuality.

And this is all so amazingly wonderful. These empowering words coming from people with very public platforms and huge followings help challenge heteronormativity, which is not only prevalent in Hollywood, but is prevalent in everyday life. And it also shows progress and support for the LGBTQ community.

Hollywood is getting better and better about representing LGBTQ individuals and those who have been marginalized for their sexual and gender identities (Orange is the New Black, Transparent, Glee, etc), but there is still work to be done. In fact, Carol came thisclose to not even being picked up by a producer because of its premise: a romance between two women.

“It was no surprise to me that it was a tricky thing to get made,” Blanchett tells Variety. She also addresses Hollywood’s gender bias in the interview, asserting that more women’s stories need to be told. “People want to see good films. We should have equal access to the multiplexes.”

With regards to progress, Blanchett’s solution is clear-cut. “We have to push forward,” she says. And that’s just what she’s doing—on-screen and off. 

Image via Carol