Kristen Stewart Recalls ‘Pressure’ To Come Out Publicly

Kristen Stewart in Charlie's Angels
(Image credit: (Sony))

Since Kristen Stewart nabbed her iconic role as Bella Swan in the Twilight franchise, her dating life has been a public affair, without her consent. After her romance with Robert Pattinson blossomed almost immediately on the set of the cult classic, their relationship became a tabloid frenzy that has carried over into the actors’ separate lives today.

K-Stew has since become a queer icon and been with her screenwriter girlfriend, Dylan Meyer, for over a year. The actress is open with her sexuality and relationship these days, and she's now speaking out why she felt uncomfortable and pressured to label herself with the intimate details of her sexual identity in her early ‘20s. Kristen Stewart talked about the expectation to represent the LGBTQ community at a time when she didn’t feel ready. In her words:

I did more when I was younger, when I was being hounded about labeling myself. I had no reticence about displaying who I was. I was going out every day knowing I'd be photographed while I was being affectionate with my girlfriend, but I didn't want to talk about it. I did feel an enormous pressure, but it wasn't put on me by the [LGBTQ+] community. People were seeing those pictures and reading these articles and going, 'Oh, well, I need to be shown.' I was a kid, and I felt personally affronted.

As Kristen Stewart recalled, when she started dating women at the age of 21, she was immediately being confronted with labelling herself and coming out publicly. She told In Style that she didn’t feel “ashamed” of her sexuality then, she just was never interested in giving that part of herself to the public. She continued:

Even in my previous relationships, which were straight, we did everything we could to not be photographed doing things — things that would become not ours. So I think the added pressure of representing a group of people, of representing queerness, wasn't something I understood then. Only now can I see it. Retrospectively, I can tell you I have experience with this story. But back then I would have been like, 'No, I'm fine. My parents are fine with it. Everything's fine.' That's bullshit. It's been hard. It's been weird. It's that way for everyone.’

This conversation was between Kristen Stewart and her director, Clea DuVall, who is helming the upcoming Christmas movie, Happiest Season. In the movie, Kristen Stewart plays Abby, the girlfriend of Terminator: Dark Fate’s Mackenzie Davis' character, Harper, who decides to bring her along despite her parents not knowing she is gay. The holiday movie also stars Schitt’s Creek four-time Emmy winner Dan Levy, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Mary Steenburgen and Victor Garber.

Kristen Stewart’s time on the Twilight movies certainly brought her success, but it wouldn’t be easy for anyone to have their dating life publicized in the way her’s was. Presently, the Charlie’s Angels actress says she doesn’t mind having conversations about aspects of her personal life, but years ago, she felt “so bogged down” by her massive platform that she didn’t feel like she could be honest with herself.

Kristen Stewart is gearing up to play Princess Diana for Pablo Larraín’s biopic Spencer, which she says will begin production in January 2021. She has already read two and half biographies about the late mother of Prince Harry and William, along with writing a script to a movie called Chronology (based on Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Chronology of Water book) that she also plans to direct.

Happiest Season is expected to come out on November 25. Check out what else is expected to come out this year with CinemaBlend’s 2020 release calendar.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.