When actress Kristen Stewart hosted SNL in 2017, she memorably kicked off her monologue by openly joked about her tumultuous relationship with Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson (and their weird love triangle with President Trump). But the actor also used the opportunity to publicly announced that she is "so gay." Both were rare public statements on her love life, which Stewart has thus far kept pretty private.
In a new interview with InStyle, Stewart admitted that she's always hated discussing her love life and showing public affection, especially since she felt "pressure" to label herself as someone who grew up in the spotlight.
"The first time I ever dated a girl, I was immediately being asked if I was a lesbian. And it's like, 'God, I'm 21 years old,'" the actress told Clea Duvall, director of Stewart's upcoming film Happiest Season. "I felt like maybe there were things that have hurt people I've been with. Not because I felt ashamed of being openly gay but because I didn't like giving myself to the public, in a way. It felt like such thievery. This was a period of time when I was sort of cagey. "
Happiest Season tells the story of a woman named Harper (Mackenzie Davis) who hasn't come out to her family, but nonetheless brings her girlfriend (Stewart) home for Christmas. When Duvall asked Stewart if she drew on her own experiences for the role, Stewart explained why she's always been uncomfortable with being photographed with her partners, and the public's scrutiny over her love life.
"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."
Stewart added that once she started to date women, she felt that there was an added expectation for her to act as a spokesperson for the LGBTQ+ community.
"I had no reticence about displaying who I was," Stewart said. "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.
"Now I relish it," she continued. "I love the idea that anything I do with ease rubs off on somebody who is struggling. That shit's dope! When I see a little kid clearly feeling themselves in a way that they wouldn't have when I grew up, it makes me skip."