The year is 2008 and I just got a knockoff MP5 player from Divisoria and one of the files they pre-downloaded on it was the movie “Twilight.” In the days (weeks, really) that followed, I would religiously watch it to the point that the scene in the ballet studio with R-Patz’s “Let Me Sign” in the background would play in my head randomly throughout the day. It wouldn’t be until three years later that I would realize that a big part of me becoming a Twihard was due to the fact that Kristen Stewart, playing klutzy introvert Bella Swan, was my gay awakening.
While the rest of the fandom was deep into the Team Edward v.s. Team Jacob debate, I’m sure the rest of us queers were quietly contemplating our feelings about the women of “Twilight” and wondering why Bella didn’t just pick Alice (no offense to Jasper). But just like Anna Kendrick’s underrated Jessica Stanley, we’re wondering what makes movie Bella so, and I say this with a fist clenched, attractive.
We have to give props to Catherine Hardwicke and the hair and makeup crew for helping deliver the only funny and sexy “Twilight” movie. Even with her hair in a headband, there was something so bewitchingly butch-y about Bella.
When she had her hair-tied under a baseball cap and when she had her Converse on for prom, I needed a second to take in the slight tomboy energy. But ultimately, I think it’s just the way that she carries herself and just *is.* When they arrive at school together, a lot of people’s eyes go on Edward with his sunnies but we get a glimpse of KStew’s signature smirk which she has weaponized in her real-life boycut era. I can imagine how barren my adolescent years could have been without her lip-biting habit and shaky/breathy line deliveries (which, yes, I did mimic at one point).
I’m not entirely sure if she was the first female celebrity that I ever had a crush on but she’s the one that still holds a space in my heart. Watching her movies is a ritualistic experience for me. It always feels like you’re watching her act, instead of seeing the character. I’m not dragging her, btw. She has such a strong presence that I think her charm just always bleeds through. It’s either that or I just have intimate knowledge of how she moves. Whether she’s in films like “Clouds of Sils Maria” or “American Ultra,” she just shines.
When talking about Kristen Stewart through the years, it’s impossible not to mention how she started to open up about her sexuality. Who could forget how she addressed the current U.S. president obsessed with her love life in a Saturday Night Live monologue. “Donald, if you didn’t like me then, you’re probably really not going to like me now because I’m hosting SNL and I’m, like, so gay, dude,” she said. After that, Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant joined her on stage in “too cool for school” punk outfits that is probably a nod to Krisbians. (yes, her lesbian fans have their own fandom name)
As a queer fan, it was so validating to witness her step out of the box that Hollywood tried to put her in. Seeing photos of her out and about with a girlfriend or serving androgynous looks on magazine spreads and premieres, it’s inspiring and she just looks so freaking good.
Recently, she shared in an interview that she “can’t f*cking wait” to propose to her girlfriend, Dylan Meyer. I too am psyched at the prospect of my first queer crush in a happy gay marriage. When that happens, I WILL cry tears of joy.
Art by Dana Calvo
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