Cara Delevingne does not want to be pigeon-holed. The 27-year-old model and actress recently split with longtime love Ashley Benson, and she tells Variety that she essentially identifies as “pansexual,” meaning she’s attracted to any gender.
Delevingne says: “However one defines themselves, whether it’s ‘they’ or ‘he’ or ‘she,’ I fall in love with the person — and that’s that. I’m attracted to the person.”
The Carnival Row star says she never felt compelled to come out, and with 45 million followers on Instagram, she is one of Hollywood’s most visible queer stars.
Not that she hasn’t gotten blowback. She said of Harvey Weinstein, who called her one night many years ago, apropos of nothing: “Harvey was one of the people that told me I couldn’t be with a woman and also be an actress. I had to have a beard.”
Delevingne added: “To me, the idea of having a beard was — I’d heard it happen before — I just felt so disheartened by it. Do you have a conversation with a dude, and they’re like, ‘I’m going to pretend to be with you but not really love you’? I kind of think when I was pushed more that way, I realized how much more I needed to go the other way.”
This year, in honor of Pride, she’s launching a clothing line with Puma, with some of the proceeds benefiting LGBTQ foundations. She also helped secure a partnership between Puma and The Trevor Project, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing suicide among queer people.
Benson has come a long way herself. She recalls opening up to her father about the loss of her first relationship with another woman at 18.
She recalled: “I’ve never been very good at talking about my emotions with my father. And I remember one day, I was so upset because I was heartbroken. And my dad was like, ‘You never talk to me.’ And I screamed at him, ‘I’m f—ing heartbroken.’ I ran downstairs. I remember he gave me a hug, and I started crying so much. I said, ‘She broke my heart.’ I thought at the moment, he might kick me out. I was that scared; I was honestly terrified. And he was like, ‘She isn’t worth the energy. You deserve to be loved.’ He was so sweet, I could cry about it right now.”